South Yorkshire Police have arrested a 31-year-old man on suspicion of rape, after the body of missing 18-year-old Caroline Everest was discovered in a Sheffield river. The first-year student was studying at Sheffield Hallam University and was last seen at the Corporation nightclub in Milton Street in the early hours of Sunday (22 November) morning.
Her body was discovered in the Porter Brook River, near Ecclesall Road on Tuesday (24 November), at around 3.45am and so far detectives are treating her death as "unexplained". South Yorkshire Police said a 31-year-old man was being held in custody for questioning after assessing CCTV in the area.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Victoria Short said: "Officers have trawled through hours of CCTV footage to trace Caroline's last steps to begin to understand what happened that night.
"We have carried out extensive enquiries in a bid to identify and locate the man in the earlier CCTV footage. As a result, we arrested a 31-year-old on suspicion of rape. He remains in custody. The investigation is ongoing and we continue to review CCTV footage from the information received from the public."
The teenager was reported missing by her family, who live just four miles away from where she was found, after she failed to turn up on Sunday for an arranged dinner. A formal identification has taken place confirming the body was that of Miss Everest.
She had worked part-time at B&M in Meadowhall Retail Park whilst studying biosciences and chemistry. She was spotted on CCTV leaving the nightclub at about 2.40am on Sunday, then seen with a man outside the Devonshire Cat, in Wellington Street.
They are seen parting company on nearby Napier Street, in the Sharrow area of the city, at around 3:35am. Miss Everest was then seen walking along Summerfield Street, in the direction of the Porter Brook at about 3.45am.
Det Ch Insp Victoria Short said that a post-mortem examination was "inconclusive" as to the cause of death. She said: "At this time, we are treating Caroline's death as unexplained. There have been a number of developments throughout the late evening and overnight as part of this complex investigation.
"A post-mortem examination was completed, however the cause of death was not established and the results were recorded as inconclusive. Further tests have now been requested."
Sheffield Hallam University has offered support to anyone affected by Ms Everest's death. And police are encouraging anyone who may have seen or heard anything in the area. Det Ch Insp Victoria Short said: "If you saw Caroline that night, or have any information, I urge you to come forward. Any information, no matter how small, could be vital to piece together her final steps and to provide answers for her family."
Please call police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, quoting incident number 998 of 22 November 2015.