Joint release by West Mercia Police and Avon and Somerset Police

West Mercia Police has been working closely with Avon and Somerset Police to explore any potential links between the murder of Betty Yates in Bewdley and the murder of the Reverend John Suddards in South Gloucestershire.

Reverend Suddards, 59, was found dead in his home in Thornbury on Tuesday 14th February 2012. He had been stabbed to death.

Police arrested a 47-year-old man yesterday in Kent following the issue of a wanted appeal for Stephen Farrow. He remains in custody at this time.

Betty Yates, who was 77, was found dead in her home in Bewdley, Worcestershire on Wednesday 4 January 2012. A murder investigation was launched immediately by West Mercia Police and they have been working relentlessly since then to bring the offender to justice.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Jamieson of West Mercia Police said: “We have been particularly interested in the work by Avon and Somerset Police to investigate the murder of Reverend John Suddards. We have been working together with them to examine similarities between that incident and the murder of Betty Yates.

“We will continue our unrelenting efforts to bring the offender responsible for this dreadful crime to justice.”

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Crisp from Avon and Somerset Police said: “I would like to thank members of the public for all their help in this investigation so far. We are determined to bring whoever is responsible for the murder of the Reverend to justice and are working very closely with our colleagues in other areas of the country.

“We have had an enormous amount of information fed into the incident room. In fact it was as a direct result of assistance from a member of the public that we were able to locate this man and we would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude.

“We continue to encourage anyone who has not yet come forward to do so if they feel there is anything at all they think would help the investigation.”

If you have any information on either of these murders please call the police on 101 and ask for Avon and Somerset or West Mercia Police. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.