“She was small like me, but always full of energy and just irrepressible.”

Those were the words of former Adver reporter Emma Streatfield last night as she paid tribute to her former school friend - 25-year-old murdered architect Joanna Yeates.

Emma, also 25, who left the paper in the summer, attended Sherborne House School in Hampshire with Jo back in the early 90’s and the two bonded through a love of sport.

She said: “The sentiment among her old friends is utter disbelief – that this has actually happened to someone they knew.

“Sherborne was a small school with only 26 pupils at most in the year – it was very much a family atmosphere there where everybody knew everybody.

“The Jo I remember was always in good spirits and could always make you laugh.”

One of the special memories Emma has of Jo is captured in a photograph her mum took of a sports award ceremony hosted by cricket legend David Gower back in 1996.

Emma said: “We were just 11 and didn’t have a care in the world when my mum took this picture.

“I was always pretty good at sports in those days and picked up several cups for long jump and high jump, though I don’t remember what Jo’s was for.

“This was our final year at Sherborne and we were all about to go our separate ways – Jo was the only one to go to Embley Park.

“Looking at this photograph, it is hard to believe that she is gone.

“Hopeful messages on Facebook from old friends trying to spread the message of Jo’s disappearance in the run-up to Christmas quickly turned on Boxing Day to sympathy with confirmation that it was Jo’s body found on Christmas Day.

“My heart goes out to her family. “ The latest in the police murder investigation into her death, has surrounded a missing sock.

Police are investigating whether Jo could have been strangled with her own ski sock – which her killer might then have kept as a trophy.

The landscape architect’s snow-covered body was found on Christmas morning missing one of her grey, knee-length socks, and detectives believe the garment may hold the key to solving her murder.

The 25-year-old – last seen alive nearly three weeks ago – was not wearing her coat or boots either but those items were recovered from her flat in Canynge Road, Clifton, Bristol.

Det Chief Inspector Phil Jones, who is leading the murder hunt, said: “We continue to use all the available professional resources available to us including accredited experts who are specialists in their fields rather than generalists,” he said.

“These resources have been used since the start of what was initially a missing person investigation and is now a murder investigation.”

But Mr Jones added: “This is a complex and meticulous investigation that will leave no stone unturned.

“I can assure you that we will find Jo’s killers.”

Police in Bristol are using as many methods as they can to get people with information on the murder to come forward.

Since an advert was placed on Facebook on Tuesday it had been viewed nearly 250,000 times and hundreds of people have clicked through to the police’s contact form.