A young British diplomatic embassy worker was found dead on the side of a motorway in Beirut, Lebanon, apparently strangled and sexually assaulted.
Local police stated that 30-year-old Miss Rebecca Dykes was murdered. The circumstances surrounding her death remain unclear at this point, but local police officials suggested she had been strangled and raped.
The UK’s ambassador to Lebanon, Mr. Hugo Shorter, stated: “The whole embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this news. My thoughts are with Becky’s family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss.”
“We’re providing consular support to her family and working very closely with Lebanese authorities who are conducting police investigation.”
The lifeless body was found in the early hours of Sunday morning on the Metn highway, which leads out of Beirut to the north-east suburbs. Miss Dykes had spent the Saturday evening in the company of friends at a cafe in Gemmayze, a district of Beirut known for its cafes, bars, and restaurants. According to several sources, she left on her own at around midnight.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Reporting on developments in murder hunt in Beirut after body of 30 year old British diplomat Rebecca Dykes was found at the weekend. Local paper claims “her killer” has been arrested. Latest from the Foreign Office <a href="https://twitter.com/GMB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GMB</a> <a href="https://t.co/RBQ6E4TByl">https://t.co/RBQ6E4TByl</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZpZTm8t52u">pic.twitter.com/ZpZTm8t52u</a></p>— Richard Gaisford (@richardgaisford) <a href="https://twitter.com/richardgaisford/status/942656262218682368?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 18, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Her family is devastated by the loss and released a statement: “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca. We are doing all we can to understand what happened. We request that the media respect our privacy as we come together as a family at this very difficult time.”
Beirut is normally considered to be safe for foreign tourists, though local authorities say that single women on any Arab street at night are always at risk.
According to a local newspaper this morning, a man has been arrested and confessed to her murder already, but the British foreign office stated they have not been informed yet.