Suspects arrested over Doha 'murder' of Chislehurst teacher Lauren Patterson
PUBLISHED: 13:04 17 October 2013 | UPDATED: 13:04 17 October 2013
Police have arrested multiple suspects in connection with the murder of a primary school teacher in Qatar, local authorities said.
Lauren Patterson, from Chislehurst, was reportedly last seen leaving a five-star hotel in Doha with a group of men in the early hours of Saturday.
A statement on the Gulf state’s Ministry of Interior website, officials said: “The police has arrested the suspects of a European woman’s murder.
“The case has been referred to Public Prosecution to complete further judicial procedures applicable in this regard.”
The Foreign Office has so far refused to confirm whether Ms Patterson, 24, died, merely stating that it is providing the family with consular assistance.
Her mother, Alison Patterson, is thought to have flown to Doha to identify the body.
On Monday she posted on Facebook: “She was a truly remarkable girl my rock always there for everyone. I know she’s in heaven now in her Daddy’s arms.”
Her boyfriend, James Grima, an IT worker and DJ from Malta, also appeared to confirm her death.
He wrote: “You really were the most smart, kind, beautiful and amazing woman I’ve ever met.
“I keep going through our messages and your pictures, and it reminds me of how lucky I was just to even know you and be a part of your life.”
Qatari officials have yet to respond to speculation that her body was found in the desert or dumped outside La Cigale hotel, or that she had been identified because of a tattoo.
Doha News reported that no police cordon had been put in place at the hotel in central Doha and said employees denied that a body was found nearby.
Following Ms Patterson’s disappearance, friends and family took to social media to appeal for help before posting messages paying tributes which described her as “truly amazing”.
Reports have suggested Ms Patterson had returned to Doha on Friday after attending her grandmother’s funeral in Britain.
Up to 500 British expats are thought to be arriving in Doha every day as the city expands into a global hub built on the back of Qatar’s enormous oil and natural gas wealth.
Qatar, which will host the World Cup in 2022 , is regarded one of the safest spots in the Middle East for Westerners.