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Sunday 20 August 2017

Stepbrother and girlfriend questioned on suspicion of murder of 16-year-old Becky Watts

Rebecca Watts Credit: Avon and Somerset Police/PA Wire
Rebecca Watts Credit: Avon and Somerset Police/PA Wire

The stepbrother of missing teenager Becky Watts has been arrested on suspicion of her murder.

Nathan Matthews, 28, was held alongside his 21-year-old girlfriend Shauna Phillips by detectives investigating the disappearance of 16-year-old Becky in Bristol.

The couple, who live in Cotton Mill Lane in the Barton Hill area of Bristol, are thought to have been arrested on Saturday on suspicion of kidnap and later re-arrested on suspicion of murder. Detectives have until this afternoon to either release or charge the pair.

The teenager, described by her relatives as "wonderful", vanished from her home in Crown Hill, St George, in the city, on February 19.

Read More: Family of missing Becky 'devastated' after police say body parts are found

Body parts were found at a house in Barton Court, in the Barton Hill area of the city, yards from the home of Mr Matthews and Ms Phillips, which has also been examined by forensic experts.

Yesterday, Avon and Somerset detectives revealed that a further four men, two aged 29 and two aged 23, and a 23-year-old woman, had been arrested on suspicion of helping an offender.

Members of Becky's father Darren's family have identified Matthews as the son of his wife Anjie.

Becky's brother Dan Galsworthy wrote on Facebook: "To everyone messaging and supporting me I haven't replied to any messages because I simply have no words, I thank you all and deeply appreciate everyone's support. Love to you all."

Aunt Sarah Broom wrote: "So today my brother got his baby girl back - 12 days of pure hell filled with heartache.

"He is completely and utterly broken and there is nothing in this world of comfort to him - how does a parent ever recover from this? How can a family?

"So with tears rolling down my face, Becky you beautiful beautiful soul, you have touched so many hearts and changed so many lives.

"Your shy inverted nature has outshone and touched a whole city and beyond. You do not leave behind a legacy of anything other than pure heartfelt love and you, you beautiful girl, will live on forever in the hearts of all those that have carried you in theirs the last 12 days and of course those that carried you in your lifetime.

"Love each of my incredible family, we're all so crushed and drained of all we own for today but you bet next time we need to be strong we will be right there standing strong together, not for us but for someone who's changed and impacted our lives forever."

Yesterday, Becky's father and stepmother said: "To receive such news as we did today about our dear daughter and stepdaughter Becky is too much to bear."

The teenager's mother Tania Watts, brother Daniel and grandmother Pat said: "We are devastated to be told of this latest development. We are at an utter loss to understand why anyone would want to hurt our beautiful Becky in such a brutal way."

They added that none of those in custody is "connected to the Watts family".

John Galsworthy, speaking on behalf of the Galsworthy family said: "Becky was a wonderful daughter, sister, granddaughter and niece and we cannot put into words how devastated we are."

The search since Becky was officially reported missing on February 20 has involved a social media campaign which has reached more than four million people worldwide.

Police said formal identification procedures of the body parts have not yet been completed.

Floral tributes have been left close to the site of yesterday's discovery, and also at the gates of Becky's home.

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