Sarah Everard: Inquest opened into death of 33-year-old as family attend via video link

An inquest into the death of Sarah Everard has opened, with her parents, brother and sister appearing in court via a video link to hear proceedings.

The inquest in Maidstone, Kent, was opened and then adjourned pending the outcome of criminal proceedings.

During the short hearing, senior coroner Patricia Harding expressed to the family how sorry she was for their loss.

She also said that Ms Everard’s body had been released to her family so they can plan her funeral.

It comes after a second post-mortem examination was carried out on Ms Everard’s body when the first proved inconclusive, police said.

The 33-year-old went missing on 3 March while walking home after visiting a friend in south London.

Her body was found in woodland near Ashford in Kent a week later, and serving police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, from Deal, also in Kent, has been charged with her murder.

Giving evidence at the brief hearing, acting Detective Inspector Lee Tullett said police had worked to plot Ms Everard’s route home.

He told the coroner that she had made a 15-minute call to her boyfriend that ended around 9.27pm.

He added: "There was no further activity on her phone.

"There was no social media presence and she failed to attend a meeting at work the following day.

"This was all very much out of character."

A missing person’s inquiry was launched and continued as police conducted searches, viewed CCTV and conducted local inquiries.

The inquest heard that police are still awaiting the final results of the second post-mortem examination.

Elsewhere in Kent, a large police presence has been seen in the town of Sandwich in recent days as officers continue to search for clues.

Couzens appeared at the Old Bailey by video link on Tuesday and was remanded into custody ahead of a provisional trial date of 25 October.

(c) Sky News 2021: Sarah Everard: Inquest opened into death of 33-year-old as family attend via video link

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