UK
19/12/2013 06:51 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 01:38 GMT

Jayden Parkinson's Family 'Heartbroken' As Police Find Body In Grave

The family of missing teenager Jayden Parkinson are ''heartbroken'' and ''devastated'', police said, as detectives revealed they had found a body in a Oxfordshire grave.

Thames Valley Police said the body was discovered in a recently disturbed site in the cemetery of All Saints' Church, Didcot.

The man leading the investigation, Detective Chief Superintendent Andy Murray, said: "We had prepared Jayden's family for the worst but I'm afraid nothing can prepare you for the loss of your child.

"They remain heartbroken, they remain devastated, and our thoughts are with them at this time."

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Jayden Parkinson

In a brief statement at Thames Valley Police HQ in Kidlington, near Oxford, Mr Murray said: "It's been a long and difficult night but, as you probably know, we discovered a body in a particular grave in All Saints' Cemetery in Didcot and I believe that body to be Jayden Parkinson, our missing teenager.

"Formal identification has not yet taken place. Jayden's body was removed from the cemetery late last night.

"Our only work in that cemetery now consists of returning that cemetery to its previous state.

"A post-mortem will take place today to try and determine how Jayden died and our management of various crime scenes in and around Didcot will be dependent on the outcome of that post-mortem.

"I'd like to thank the public for all their support and I'd like to thank you, the media, for your help in this case.

"This is likely to be the last time I make any public comment before the outcome of the trial."

Jayden's ex-boyfriend Ben Blakeley, 22, appeared in court earlier this week charged with her murder.

The discovery came after a team of more than 100 officers and detectives, backed by specialists from the National Crime Agency, spent much of the past week carrying out intensive forensic searches at several sites in and around Didcot and the nearby village of Upton.

On Tuesday, Mr Murray said police had received "significant and highly relevant information" which led police to focus their efforts on a specific grave in the churchyard.

The teenager, who had recently moved to Oxford, was last seen leaving Didcot railway station at 4.27pm on December 3.

Police said there was "no indication" she was still alive, revealing Jayden had not used her mobile phone or accessed her bank account in the days since she had been reported missing.

Officers had previously issued an appeal for information about a man seen struggling with a suitcase just outside Upton at about 2am on Monday December 9.