Lebanese police arrested a taxi driver in a 3am pre-dawn raid in connection with the rape and murder of British diplomat, Rebecca Dykes, who was found Saturday morning in a ditch beside a mountain highway in the outskirts of the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
Rebecca Dykes (family handout)
Sources tell The Times that the taxi driver's first name is Tarek and his initials are TH, while CNN reports Lebanese police have determined that Dykes was sexually assaulted and strangled with a rope, before being found with the suspect's bodily fluids allegedly on her body.
The suspect has reportedly confessed to killing Dykes, and that the murder was a "criminal act" and not politically motivated. The information branch of Lebanon's internal security forces, the intelligence department of the police, is conducting the investigation.
Dykes, who is believed to have been 30, was last seen Friday night around midnight leaving a bar named "Demo" near central Beirut's Gemmayze district, a popular spot for nightlife.
British Ambassador to Lebanon, Hugo Shorter, tweeted "The whole embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this news. My thoughts are with Becky's family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss.
The whole embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this news. My thoughts are with Beckys family, friends and colleagues for their tragic loss. We're providing consular support to her family & working very closely with Lebanese authorities who are conducting police investigation.Hugo Shorter (@HugoShorter) December 17, 2017
A family spokesman said 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.
According to her LinkedIn page, Dykes worked as a program and policy manager with the Department for International Development (DfID), as well as serving as a policy manager with the Libya team at the Foreign Office. Prior to that, she worked with the Foreign Office as an Iraq research analyst.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: Following the death of a British woman in Beirut, we are providing support to the family. We remain in close contact with local authorities. Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.
Ms Dykes was a graduate of the University of Manchester graduate, and held a masters in International Security and Global Governance from Birkbeck, University of London.