Sarah Everard vanished while walking home. Police say one of their own killed her.

On Tuesday evening, March 9, more than 20 police officers swarmed on a home in Kent, in England's southeast.

When they emerged, they were escorting a man. Stony-faced, shirtless, his wrists bound by handcuffs.

That man — Wayne Couzens — is one of their own; a police officer, who joined London's Metropolitan Police Service over two years ago.

Couzens is due to face court on Saturday, UK time, on charges that he abducted and murdered 33-year-old Sarah Everard. The marketing executive vanished from the streets of London almost a week prior, rattling the British public and making headlines around the world.

Here's what we know about the case so far.

Who was Sarah Everard, and what happened to her?

Sarah Everard was born in Surrey, England, in 1987, and is the youngest of three siblings. She was raised in a small cul-de-sac in York, and went to Durham University to study human geography before moving to London's south.

"She was kind and thoughtful, caring and dependable. She always put others first and had the most amazing sense of humour," her family said in a statement this week.

"She was strong and principled and a shining example to us all. We are very proud of her and she brought so much joy to our lives."

In the hours before she vanished on March 3, Everard was at a friend's apartment in the London suburb of Clapham. She left at 9pm to begin the roughly 50-minute journey to her home in Brixton.

Her last known movements were recorded by a private doorbell camera on a main road in Clapham, which captured her walking past, alone, at 9.30pm. It's not clear if she made it home or was abducted during the remaining stretch of the journey.


Everard's boyfriend reported her missing the following day.

On Wednesday, March 10, remains were discovered by police during a search of woodland near Ashford, Kent, roughly 90 minutes southeast of where she was last seen.

Two days later, they were confirmed to belong to Sarah Everard.

Who is the man accused of her murder?

Wayne Couzens is a married, 48-year-old father of two.

London's Metropolitan Police Service stated that he joined the force in September 2018 and, in February last year, moved to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command where he was charged with making uniformed patrols at a range of embassies.

Couzens has also been charged with indecent exposure, relating to two alleged incidents at a South London fast-food restaurant which were reported on February 28 — just days before Everard's abduction.

Since being detained, he has twice been hospitalised after sustaining head injuries in his cell. Police have not commented further on the incidents.

What led to Wayne Couzens' arrest?

Though the investigation is ongoing, it's been widely reported that Couzens was not known to Everard.

His precise movements on the evening of March 3 are currently unclear.


But according to The Telegraph, the breakthrough in the investigation came courtesy of a CCTV camera fixed to a London bus that had been travelling along the route where Everard disappeared.

Police search a home in Kent that reportedly belongs to Wayne Couzens. Image: Getty.

An unnamed woman, aged in her 30s, was also arrested on Tuesday, March 9, on suspicion of assisting an offender, but was released on bail. 

She is due to appear in court in April.

What has been the response to Sarah Everard's murder?

Coverage of Everard's disappearance and subsequent news of her death revived discussions in the UK about violence against women and personal safety.

Thousands of women there and abroad have been sharing on social media their experiences of street harassment, their fears about walking alone or at nighttime, and their frustration that the onus seems to be on women to protect themselves.


A vigil dubbed "Take Back These Streets" has been planned for Saturday evening near where Everard was last seen. 

On a Facebook page about the event, organisers wrote, "In Clapham, police told women not to go out at night this week. Women are not the problem. 

"This is a vigil for Sarah, but also for all women who feel unsafe.”

Close to 5,000 people on Facebook have indicated their intention to attend. However, Metropolitan Police has warned that the event could be in contravention of London's COVID-19 lockdown.

"Our message to those who were looking to attend vigils in London this weekend, including at Clapham Common, is stay at home or find a lawful and safer way to express your views," the Met's Commander Catherine Roper said in a statement.

Feature Image: Metropolitan Police Service.

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