Nearly a week after Lauren Patterson was last seen alive, her remains have been positively identified by dental records, a family friend has told Doha News.
With the confirmation of her death, relatives have revealed horrific details about what they believe to be the 24-year-old’s final hours.
Speaking to the Daily Mail while in Doha, Alison Patterson, the 58-year-old mother of the deceased, said her eldest child is believed to have been stabbed to death by an acquaintance.
The man, which the UK tabloid identified as Qatari, had given Patterson and her friend a ride home when leaving a nightclub at La Cigale in the early hours of Saturday, Oct. 12.
According to the family, which has thus far only spoken to the Daily Mail, the man is said to have dropped her friend off and then taken Patterson back to his home, where she was allegedly stabbed to death.
It is unclear whether a sexual assault took place, because Patterson’s remains are too badly burned to tell. The Mail, which posted its report online around 1am this morning and removed it without explanation 12 hours later, continues:
“The alleged killer and an accomplice then drove her miles out of the capital Doha and dug a pit in the desert which they filled with charcoal before pouring petrol on her body, setting it alight and fleeing.
The blaze was so intense that her body was reduced to ashes apart from a piece of her skull and her feet.”
Patterson’s body was found the same day, when a Qatari hunter and his falcon discovered the burning corpse, the Mail reports – a story corroborated by a Doha News source as well.
Police apparently laid in wait and arrested the alleged accomplice to Patterson’s murder when he returned to the scene several hours later. The police reportedly found petrol cans with the man’s fingerprints on them, and a knife was found with the burned remains.
According to the Mail, the acquaintance was also brought in, both men have both confessed and would face the death penalty if found guilty of murder – though notably, Qatar has had a stay on executions for the past decade. The Ministry of Interior has announced the arrest of two suspects, but offered no further details on the case.
Patterson’s mother and Malta-based boyfriend first began an online campaign to find the teacher on Sunday afternoon, but only hours later announced on Facebook mourned her loss.
British media initially reported a number of inaccuracies regarding the case, including that Patterson’s body was found in a dumpster and that her body was identified by a distinctive tattoo.
The Mail now reports that despite difficulty in identifying her body, a mouth brace that appeared to belong to Patterson had survived the fire, leading her loved ones to expect the worst.
Online tributes have been pouring in for Patterson, who taught kindergarten students at Newton British School. Parents here told Doha News that they are shocked and saddened by the tragedy.
Meanwhile, Patterson’s mother has said:
“What has happened to my daughter is absolutely terrible but I do not in any way blame Qatar. Dreadful things can happen anywhere. We have been very grateful for the work by officials in Qatar to help bring those responsible to justice.”