A murder investigation is reportedly under way following the discovery of a female British diplomat’s body in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. The UK Foreign Office has confirmed the death, but has not revealed any further details.
The body of Rebecca Dykes was found on the side of a motorway Saturday, with local sources telling the BBC that the UK embassy employee had been sexually assaulted and strangled. Beirut police are reportedly investigating the death.
Dykes’s family said in 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.”
A spokesperson for the UK Foreign Office said it is providing support to the family and remain in close contact with local authorities. “Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time,” the spokesperson added.
Ms Dykes had been working in Beirut as the program and policy manager for the Department for International Development since January this year. According to reports in the Daily Telegraph, Dykes was last seen at a bar in the Gemmayzeh area of central Beirut. It is thought she was abducted after leaving the bar sometime after midnight. Her body was later found near the Metn highway.