Boyfriend is held on suspicion of murder

THE boyfriend of a Suffolk woman missing after going on holiday to a Spanish island has been arrested on suspicion of her murder.

The arrest came after a woman’s body was found in the sea off Gran Canaria. No formal identification has taken place yet.

Police have not released the identity of the man being questioned, but he has been named locally as Christopher Chittock whose partner 23-year-old Sarah Shields, from Ipswich, was reported missing on Sunday.

Detectives from Suffolk and Norfolk Constabulary’s major investigation team are also interviewing Mr Chittock on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.

No charges have been laid against the 36-year-old, from Ipswich, although last night he remained in custody in connection with Miss Shields’ disappearance and suspected murder.

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Mr Chittock spent yesterday being questioned at Ipswich police station after he was arrested on Tuesday evening.

During the afternoon, a lawyer from the Crown Prosecution Service went before magistrates in Ipswich on Suffolk police’s behalf to successfully apply for an extension to Mr Chittock’s custody time limit.

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Detectives can now hold him until early Friday morning before making a decision to release him without charge, bail him or prosecute him.

Police officers spent yesterday at the flat the couple shared in Alnesbourn Crescent, in the Ravenswood area of Ipswich.

They are believed to have moved in together earlier this year. Previously Miss Shields lived with her family in Ipswich.

Suffolk officers, led by Detective Chief Inspector Andy Guy, are liaising with the Spanish authorities as the inquiry continues.

Emergency services retrieved the body of a woman on a beach in Gran Canaria last Wednesday. The woman was found floating about 15 yards off the Playa de la Balito beach, near Mogan, on the holiday island’s south-west coast between 8.20am and 9.30am.

It is understood a German citizen called the authorities. A boat transferred the body to the pier of Arguineguin where emergency services confirmed the woman had died.

Spanish sources have quoted police as saying the body showed “signs of violence”.

The paramilitary Civil Guard are now trying to establish if the woman is Miss Shields.

An officer said they could not say more at this stage. A post mortem has yet to be carried out.

However, the Spanish authorities are said to have carried out a medical examination, the results of which have not been revealed. At this stage no Suffolk detectives have been sent to Gran Canaria, although officers are in touch with their counterparts.

Yesterday discussions were taking place over how formal identification would take place.

Richard Jones, a spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “Sarah Shields was on a two-week holiday in Gran Canaria but was reported missing when she failed to return home on Sunday July 11 as planned.

“The body of a young woman was discovered on the island on July 7 and Spanish police are attempting to identify her.”

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