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Hunt for killer as body of fashion blogger, 34, is found in a shallow grave in wealthy London suburb


A murder probe has been launched after the body of a film producer who has worked with Joan Collins and Sheridan Smith was found in a shallow grave at her £400,000 home two days after she was reported missing, Daily Mail reported.

Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34, was found buried in the garden of her house on a tree-lined street in the wealthy suburb of Kew in south-west London.

It has now emerged she was due to meet a man she described as a 'charismatic vet' for coffee just hours before her death, according to a friend.

Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, a 34-year-old PR executive assistant from Richmond on Thames, was reported missing after she failed to turn up to work on Monday

Police launched a missing persons inquiry after the PR executive assistant and lifestyle blogger - a French national - failed to turn up to work on Monday.

She was last seen alive on Saturday night at a Sainsbury's, a few streets away from where she lived on Darell Road. A hunt has now been launched for her killer but so far there have been no arrests.

Her friend Daniel Hughes, 27, said he had spoken to her best friend, who reported her missing.

'I think the last point the CCTV caught her was outside a Sainsbury's on Saturday evening in Richmond,' he said.

'She was meant to go shopping in Oxford Street on Sunday, daytime. She was meant to meet a man for coffee on the Sunday evening. We're not sure when the murder took place, whether it was Saturday night or Sunday night.

'She was meant to move out of that house on Monday morning.'

Mr Hughes said he found the proposed meeting before his friend's murder 'a bit suspicious' and said he had been told the man was a 'charismatic' vet.

'She met him in a shop or something like that and then he must have chatted to her then and they arranged a coffee on Sunday evening,' he said.

'We don't know if she went out to meet him or not because we don't know what the point was when that happened.'

Film producer Laureline Garcia-Bertaux (pictured), 34, was found buried in the garden of her house on a tree-lined street in the wealthy suburb of Kew in south-west London

Mr Hughes, who said he previously worked with Ms Garcia-Bertaux at the Discovery Channel, said she was single and lived alone with her two dogs.

'She's tall, got a lot of presence. Always very friendly, very talkative, would never have hurt anyone.

'Got a lot of confidence and passion, a lovely lady. She had a lot of friends as well, including me,' he said.

'I'm pretty harrowed about it. I've been in that house, I've been in that garden. It's creepy, it's upset me quite a lot.'

Members of Ms Garcia-Bertaux's family, who are believed to have flown into the UK from France, have been informed of developments and are being supported by specially trained officers, police said.

No-one has been arrested and a post-mortem examination is to be carried out.

A large police cordon has been put in place around the scene in Darell Road which extends to cover the garden and passageway area at the back of the terraced property.

With the noise of playing children echoing from a nearby school, forensics officers in blue suits could be seen erecting a large tent, with evidence markers visible down the narrow alley between a number of homes.

A neighbour who did not want to be named said others on the street have told him they had seen a man visiting the property 'now and again', and added: 'I did not see her very much.'

Another told how he saw Ms Garcia-Bertaux with a 'scruffy looking geezer' days before she went missing.

Paul Watkins, 63, said he saw her walking her Rottweiler and Husky dog in a park near her home. He said: 'She was usually on her own when she walked her dogs and we would stop and chat, mostly about the dogs.

'Last Wednesday I saw her as I was leaving and she was with this scruffy looking geezer. He was 5ft 10 and was holding one of the dogs by a lead. I did not speak to him'.

Meanwhile, a producer who worked with Ms Garcia-Bertaux on a number of projects - including the short film Gerry with Joan Collins and Tower Block with Sheridan Smith and Jack O'Connell - said she was 'absolutely devastated' to hear of her friend's death.

A blue forensics tent was erected near to where Ms Garcia-Bertaux' body was discovered on Wednesday. A police cordon has been erected sealing off the area

Read more from Daily Mail

My view: After reading the shocking story, I think it's someone that knew her, that killed her. I don't think a stranger would waste time to bury her in her own back garden where she lived on the ground floor of a shared house without anyone noticing what was going on, it's impossible, maybe her killer monitored the movements of those in the area to see when they're not home, then quickly buried her, It's so sad.

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