French film-maker found in shallow grave was strangled

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A film-maker whose body was discovered in a shallow grave in her garden had been strangled, police have said.

The body of 34-year-old Laureline Garcia-Bertaux was found buried in Kew, southwest London, after she was reported missing from work.

A post-mortem performed on Saturday gave a cause of death as “consistent with compression of the neck”, while toxicology tests are pending, the police said.

Detectives are pursuing a number of leads and a crime scene remains in place.

They urged anyone who saw or communicated with the French national between 2 March and 6 March, when her body was found, to get in touch.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding, leading the murder squad, said: “This may have been via phone calls, texts messages, WhatsApp or via any other social media platform.

“Laureline was known to local people as she walked her two dogs each day.”

One of her friends, 27-year-old Daniel Hughes, said she had been due to meet with a “charismatic” vet for a coffee on 3 March.

She was reported missing after failing to turn up for work at a public relations company.

Ms Garcia-Bertaux had worked with Dame Joan Collins on the 2018 short film Gerry, with the actress saying she was “shocked by the horrifying news” of her death.

Producer and actress friend Hester Ruoff described Ms Garcia-Bertaux as “an amazing individual” and said they had been due to start filming on a new movie next month.

:: Police are appealing to witnesses to call them on 101 or contact Crimestoppers to provide information anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org

(c) Sky News 2019: French film-maker found in shallow grave was strangled

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