'Utterly appalled': Tragic find as cop arrested over disappearance

Possible human remains believed to be those of missing woman Sarah Everard have been discovered in woodland, British authorities have revealed.

Ms Everard, 33, disappeared on the evening of March 3 while walking home from a friend's house to her Brixton apartment in south London, with a widespread police investigation into her disappearance gripping the nation.

"This evening detectives and search teams investigating Sarah’s disappearance have very sadly discovered what we believe at this stage to be human remains," Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick told reporters.

The remains were found in woodland in Ashford, about 85km east of Ms Everard's London home.

Sarah Everard, pictured, who disappeared on March 3. Source: AAP
Sarah Everard disappeared on March 3. Source: AAP

The discovery comes after Met Police confirmed one of their own officers, aged in his 40s, had been arrested on suspicion of murder.

"I speak on behalf of all my colleagues in the Met when I say we are utterly appalled at this dreadful news. Our job is to patrol the streets and to protect people," Commissioner Dick said.

She said his arrest has "sent waves of shock and anger through the public and through the whole of the Met".

The suspect has been named and pictured by British media as Wayne Couzens.

He was arrested at his home in the coastal town of Deal, 48km from Ashford.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police search land near  Great Chart Golf and Lesiure, in connection with the disappearance of Sarah Everard. (Gareth Fuller /PA via AP)
Officers search an area of Ashford during their investigations. Source: AAP

Arrested cop had patrolled at Downing Street

Couzens was responsible for uniformed patrolling of diplomatic premises, The Met Police said in a statement. Locations he patrolled included Downing Street and the Palace of Westminster, the BBC reported.

He was not on duty at the time of Ms Everard's disappearance.

He was initially arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of kidnapping.

A woman in her 30s has also been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Authorities and family said her disappearance was "totally out of character".

Fear for women on streets of London

Her disappearance sparked a large scale search from authorities across southern England, where more than 750 addresses were visited.

"Sarah's disappearance in these awful and wicked circumstances is every family's worst nightmare," Commissioner Dick said.

"I know Londoners will want to know that it is thankfully incredibly rare for a woman to be abducted from our streets.

"But I completely understand that despite this, women in London and the wider public — particularly those in the area where Sarah went missing — will be worried and may well be feeling scared."

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.