IT WAS the news everyone was dreading.
On December 14, 2013, Jayden Parkinson’s family had to be told that the police search for their daughter had become a murder inquiry.
At the time Detective Chief Superintendent Andrew Murray, head of force crime for Thames Valley Police, said the family were understandably distraught but were clinging to the hope that she may still be found alive.
He said: “It was a difficult decision to tell Jayden’s family and the public that we believed we were looking for her body.
“The family clung to some hope that she might be found alive bit we had to be honest with them.
“We could find no trace of Jayden and we knew that Ben Blakeley had lied about his contact with her immediately prior to her going missing.
“So the decision was taken to charge him with murder and tell the public we believed we were searching for her body.”
The family’s hope fell apart when four days later, Jayden’s body was discovered in a grave at All Saint’s Church, Didcot. It came following a tip off from Ben Blakeley’s younger brother Jake.
The discovery shocked everyone involved and police said it is the only know time a body has been found in an existing grave.
Det Ch Supt Murray said: “Only Ben Blakeley can explain why he chose to rebury her body in an existing grave.”
Det Ch Supt Andrew Murray faces the media on December 17 after informing Jayden’s family they had opened a murder investigation
The search for Jayden was extensive with up to 50 specialist officers and dog teams involved.
Police had to urge members of the public not to help out as people turned up to do their bit.
Inspector Mick Greenwood co-ordinated the search and said it was spread over the whole of Didcot and the surrounding area and countryside, with more than 20 possible crime scenes.
He said: “It was a particularly challenging search due to the weather at the time, the terrain officers were searching and the requirement to both secure evidence and protect crime scenes, whilst concentrating our efforts on finding Jayden.”
More Jayden Parkinson coverage:
8:00am Saturday 18th April 2015
THE mother of murdered Jayden Parkinson said she hoped her daughter’s memorial garden would be a place for everyone in the community.
12:30pm Friday 17th April 2015
THE mother of murdered Jayden Parkinson said she hoped her daughter’s memorial garden would be a place for the community.
8:30am Monday 23rd March 2015
TWO men accused of taking part in a brawl involving the killer of Jayden Parkinson have been acquitted.
9:00am Wednesday 11th March 2015
THE mother of Jayden Parkinson said she will never “forget or forgive” Jake Blakeley for helping bury the body of her murdered daughter.
6:50pm Tuesday 10th March 2015
THE mother of Jayden Parkinson today said time would never "erase the evil" of her murder as Jake Blakeley was jailed for three years.
9:00am Wednesday 4th February 2015
THE mother of murdered Jayden Parkinson told Jake Blakeley she hopes her teenage daughter ‘haunts his dreams’.
11:58am Tuesday 3rd February 2015
JAKE Blakeley is innocent of knowingly helping his older brother Ben bury the body of murdered Jayden Parkinson, a judge has ruled.
5:49pm Wednesday 28th January 2015
THE jury in the trial of Jake Blakeley will continue considering its verdict on Tuesday.
2:57pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
THE jury in the Jake Blakeley trial has been sent home for the night.
8:30am Tuesday 27th January 2015
A TEENAGER accused of knowingly digging holes to bury murdered Jayden Parkinson has been "playing stupid to win over the jury", the prosecution said.