Police investigating the disappearance of Gaia Pope wrongly accused a family of murdering the teenager after they failed to realise that the time on a CCTV camera had not changed when the clocks went back.
Officers arrested Rosemary Dinch, 71, her son Paul Elsey, 49, and her grandson Nathan Elsey, 19, after the grandmother became the last person to see Gaia alive.
Before their arrest, the family had handed officers CCTV to help in the search for the missing teenager.
The family were then quizzed as witnesses after it emerged grandmother Rosemary was the last person to see Gaia before she vanished.
But crucially their version of their movements that afternoon was out by an hour compared to the CCTV they had provided to police, raising suspicions about their versions of events.
But rather than realise that the time had not been changed, police instead arrested the family and accused them of murdering the 19-year-old.
The family was eventually released without charge, and the 19-year-old’s body was found on Saturday in a field near Swanage; 11 days after she was last seen.
A post-mortem examination has not identified any injuries to suggest third party involvement and Miss Pope’s death is currently being treated as ‘unexplained’.
Scroll down for video
Officers arrested Rosemary Dinch (right), her son Paul Elsey, 49, and her grandson Nathan Elsey (left), after the grandmother was the last person to see Gaia alive
CCTV handed to police early on in the investigation showed her last known whereabouts, as she walked towards the home of Rosemary Dinch
Gaia had previously made an accusation against 24-year-old Connor Hayes, his mother revealed today – he is currently serving a jail term for child sex offences
Nathan’s mother Deborah Elsey, who recorded the footage from her home, told The Sun: ‘The police got it all wrong. We love Gaia. She was like one of the family.
‘We gave them CCTV footage that showed Nathan going to his gran’s house around the corner.
‘When they questioned [Nathan], the time didn’t match the time on the footage so they dragged him in for murder.
‘It’s ridiculous. The time on the CCTV didn’t match because the clocks went back and the time on there didn’t change.’
It has now surfaced that she was anxious about the release of 24-year-old sex pervert Connor Hayes.
Hayes is currently serving a two year jail term, along with his friend William Wright, for filming a video of them having sex with a teenage girl, who is not related to Gaia, that was subsequently published on the internet.
The pair were jailed in April this year at Bournemouth Crown Court for charges relating to taking an indecent image of a child under 18.
A college friend of Gaia’s told the Daily Mail: ‘There is a private Instagram [account] she has just with her friends and she said that she was nervous about Connor getting let out of prison.
‘She mentioned bits and pieces just after it happened but it was only made properly public much later on social media. I think her last post about it was around Halloween time.
‘She did let people know about the assault on Facebook and when she did it we told her it wasn’t safe and she should take it down. We told her to delete it because it was dangerous. I think she thought he might be released a bit early.
Gaia is pictured here with her mother Natasha Pope, who penned a moving tribute to her ‘free spirit’ daughter
The teenager’s father Richard Sutherland (pictured here on Good Morning Britain last week), said ‘our beautiful bird has flown’