More details are emerging about the circumstances surrounding a 24-year-old British teacher’s death in Qatar, but many questions still remain.
Three separate sources have told Doha News that the body of Lauren Patterson, who disappeared over the weekend, was found in the desert this week.
But friends have said DNA testing to prove a positive identification is still pending. This is because the body was burned beyond recognition, inquiries at the mortuary of Hamad Hospital have revealed.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Patterson’s mother, Alison, said she and her brother are in Doha to “fight for justice” for Lauren. The newspaper reports:
“Speaking publicly for the first time since the murder, Mrs Patterson, 48, she said it had been ‘extremely stressful’ waiting for forensic results to confirm the body was her daughter’s.
But she praised authorities in the Gulf state for their thorough investigation – which saw police arrest two local men who have now made confessions.”
Yesterday, Qatar’s Ministry of Interior announced that arrests have been made in connection to the murder of a European woman, but Doha News is unable to verify the number or nationality of the suspects.
However, in an email, a family friend of the Pattersons told us:
“The family of Lauren Patterson spoke with the Daily Mail yesterday and released a few facts regarding Lauren. They asked friends this morning to share the article link as these are the facts (as) opposed to all the other reports in the media.”
Patterson, who had returned from the UK to Doha after her grandmother’s funeral on Friday, was last seen by friends late Friday night/early Saturday morning.
Patterson’s mother and her Malta-based boyfriend launched a search for the teacher on Sunday, but hours later posted messages on Facebook saying she had died.
The British embassy in Doha, which is providing assistance to the family, has not made any public statements about the crime beyond confirming that Patterson was missing. Calls and emails from Doha News have not been returned since Monday.
Patterson’s uncle, Brian Roake, thanked the embassy for its assistance when speaking to the Daily Mail. He added: “We have had a high-level meeting with senior officials in Qatar who are leaving no stone unturned.”