Jayden's family devastated - police

Andover Advertiser: Jayden Parkinson disappeared on December 3 Jayden Parkinson disappeared on December 3

The family of missing teenager Jayden Parkinson are ''heartbroken'' and ''devastated'', police said.

Detectives believe a body found buried in a grave in Oxfordshire is that of the 17-year-old.

Thames Valley Police said the body was discovered in a recently disturbed site in the cemetery of All Saints' Church, Didcot.

The man leading the investigation, Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Murray, said: "We had prepared Jayden's family for the worst but I'm afraid nothing can prepare you for the loss of your child.

"They remain heartbroken, they remain devastated, and our thoughts are with them at this time."

In a brief statement at Thames Valley Police HQ in Kidlington, near Oxford, Mr Murray said: "It's been a long and difficult night but, as you probably know, we discovered a body in a particular grave in All Saints' Cemetery in Didcot and I believe that body to be Jayden Parkinson, our missing teenager.

"Formal identification has not yet taken place. Jayden's body was removed from the cemetery late last night.

"Our only work in that cemetery now consists of returning that cemetery to its previous state.

"A post-mortem will take place today to try and determine how Jayden died and our management of various crime scenes in and around Didcot will be dependent on the outcome of that post-mortem.

"I'd like to thank the public for all their support and I'd like to thank you, the media, for your help in this case.

"This is likely to be the last time I make any public comment before the outcome of the trial."

Jayden's ex-boyfriend Ben Blakeley, 22, appeared in court earlier this week charged with her murder.

The discovery came after a team of more than 100 officers and detectives, backed by specialists from the National Crime Agency, spent much of the past week carrying out intensive forensic searches at several sites in and around Didcot and the nearby village of Upton.

On Tuesday, Mr Murray said police had received "significant and highly relevant information" which led police to focus their efforts on a specific grave in the churchyard.

The teenager, who had recently moved to Oxford, was last seen leaving Didcot railway station at 4.27pm on December 3.

Police said there was "no indication" she was still alive, revealing Jayden had not used her mobile phone or accessed her bank account in the days since she had been reported missing.

Officers had previously issued an appeal for information about a man seen struggling with a suitcase just outside Upton at about 2am on Monday December 9.

A search of farmland on the outskirts of the village took place following the sighting.

Officers said the same man was seen with the same suitcase in the Lydalls Road area of Didcot - where All Saints is located - at about 3.30am the same day.

Detectives have since recovered several suitcases, one of which "may well be significant", according to Mr Murray.

Police also confirmed that during the course of their investigation it was suggested Jayden might have been pregnant at the time of her disappearance.

In a post on Facebook on Sunday, Jayden's mother Samantha Shrewsbury wrote: "My baby, my princess, my heart is so heavy baby girl.

"I just want to see you walk through my door with a 'ta-dar'. I need you little lady, my heart feels so empty without you you know."

Blakeley, of Christchurch Road, Reading, has been charged with her murder and perverting the course of justice and is due to appear at Oxford Crown Court for a plea hearing on March 17 next year.

A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has also been charged with perverting the course of justice between December 3 and December 10 by assisting in the disposal of Jayden's body and other evidence.

Jayden's father Paul Parkinson paid tribute to her in a brief message posted on Facebook.

He wrote: "Good nite baby girl I will miss you so much I love you always xxxxxxxx."

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