A beautician who went missing in Jamaica has been found dead by police in a “shallow grave” on her property, it was reported today.
Karen Cleary, 44, from Islington, disappeared on November 25, having travelled to the island to build a dream home for herself and partner Andy Kane. He alerted police after he and her family suddenly lost contact with her.
Mr Kane, 56, flew to the Caribbean on Saturday to help search for his girlfriend of 13 years. He had launched an online appeal for information. But today her body was found buried on her property in Boscobel, St Mary, with detectives set to question a labourer working on her home on suspicion of murder.
Mr Kane said he wished with “all my heart that it wasn’t true” but that the suspect was “in custody and he has confessed”. He said the world had turned “very dark indeed” following the killing of “my princess”.
He said: “Since last Tuesday when I found out Karen Cleary was missing I’ve had a feeling that the freight train of reality was barrelling down the tracks towards me. Today it pains to say that train hit me hard. I am so sorry to pass on the news that today after a painstaking search by the Jamaican police team that the time for hope and optimism has unfortunately passed. Karen has now gone on to a better place.”
Mr Kane, a sales manager originally from Suffolk, added: “Karen has been that shining star in my world for over 13 years. That world has now turned very dark indeed. Please before you go to your bed tonight say a prayer for her to whatever God you pray to and also make sure you tell your loved ones how much they mean to you while you still have the chance.”
His older brother William, an architect, told the Standard that the family was in “complete devastation”. He said: “Karen was a lovely woman.”
He said the family wanted “quick justice” for her death.
Ms Cleary, a hairdresser and beautician, was born in Jamaica but had lived in Islington for almost 20 years. She was said to have been “very cautious” about where she went and understood the “dangers” in Jamaica.
It was reported that Ms Cleary was stabbed to death in an argument over the work at the property.
The suspect is alleged to have led police to the place on the property where her body was recovered.
Jamaica has twice as many murders as Britain each year, despite a population of just 2.9 million. The murder rate has been rising, and the Foreign Office has said that British nationals returning to resettle permanently are at a higher risk of being targeted by criminals. It warns visitors of the risk of armed robbery, murder and rape.