Jayden Parkinson: Two arrested as hope of finding her alive fades + Audio

The Oxford Times: CCTV footage of Jayden Parkinson leaving Didcot train station on December 3 CCTV footage of Jayden Parkinson leaving Didcot train station on December 3

POLICE were yesterday scouring countryside between Didcot and Upton as they admitted they did not know if missing teenager Jayden Parkinson was alive or dead.

Yesterday detectives said they had arrested a 22-year-old man, said to be in a relationship with 17-year-old Jayden, on suspicion of murder. They also arrested a 17-year-old boy who handed himself into a police station.

An image of Jayden leaving Oxford train station just around 4pm on Tuesday, December 3, was released and police say she then arrived at Didcot just before 4.30pm.

Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Murray said police did not know if Jayden was still alive.

He said, as her family waited for news: “What I want to focus on is the hope that Jayden is still out there, that she is safe and well, but unfortunately as time goes by we become increasingly concerned for her welfare.”

The Oxford Times: Police search countryside in Upton, near Didcot

  • Police search countryside in Upton, near Didcot

Jayden had been staying at the One Foot Forward hostel in Iffley Road, Oxford, for less than a month when she went out on December 3.

Mr Murray, the head of Thames Valley Police’s CID, said it was known that Jayden had caught a train from Oxford to Didcot Parkway that day.

Yesterday the hunt for Jayden began to focus on the countryside between Upton and Didcot, particularly along a cycle track that follows part of a disused railway line.

  • Audio of the press conference

He said: “I can’t go into why we have concentrated our search on that area but what I can say is that if anybody was in that area for any reason on the evening of Sunday, December 8, going into Monday, December 9, and you saw something suspicious then please give us a ring as we will want to know.”

Mr Murray would not elaborate why police were appealing about the 8th, when it was five days after the last sighting of Jayden.

Yesterday afternoon police wearing forensic bodysuits were seen close to a wooded site near Upton, with a field by St Mary’s Church and a wooded area nearby cordoned off.

Villager Gareth Pearson, 21, said: “I did not even know about it until I got home and saw it taped up. This is a quiet village. Nothing ever happens here.”

Police swooped on an address in Christchurch Road in Reading on Thursday night and the 22-year-old who they have not named was arrested.

They said he was held to “prove or disprove” Jayden had come to harm, Mr Murray said. He was still in custody last night.

The Oxford Times: Jayden Parkinson

  • Jayden Parkinson

Asked if there was any firm evidence that Jayden was alive, he added: “No, there is not and that is what is most concerning.

“As any 17-year-old does, they are using Facebook, they are on their phone and Jayden would have to access some means of financial support. But since the third of December, there has been nothing.

“As time goes by we are getting increasingly concerned and I am afraid to say that (murder) is one possible scenario. Let us hope that is not right.”

Jayden’s mother Erica Simms lives in Didcot and MrMurray said: “Jayden’s family are, as we speak, being seen by family liasion officers.

“They are shocked, they are concerned and they just want to see their daughter safe and well.”

The Oxford Times: Superintendent Christian Bunt, left, and Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Murray at yesterday’s press conference

  • Christian Bunt and Andy Murray at the press conference

Fifty detectives were yesterday working on the case. Oxford police commander Supt Christian Bunt said up to 40 officers had been involved in the search for Jayden since the weekend.

The teenager’s family used to live at the old village shop in Main Street, Nuneham Courtenay.

Main Street resident June Harris, 80, said the family moved away more than five years ago.

She said: “I can only remember just a little girl in the back of the shop.

The Oxford Times: Jayden’s mum Erica Simms

  • Jayden’s mum Erica Simms

“It is awful to think about.

“Young girls are so vulnerable these days.”

Anyone with any information can call police on 101


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