Body found in search for missing 54-year-old woman in Kent


Police searching for a missing 54-year-old woman have found a body as a man in his 20s remains in custody on suspicion of her murder.

Claire Knights, 54, from Upstreet near Canterbury, was last seen in the village on 23 August, police said.

Her silver Suzuki car was found parked in another village, St Nicholas At Wade, officers added.

It is believed she walked from there to Minnis Bay, where there were reported sightings of her later that afternoon.

Ms Knights is thought to have been carrying a red or pink rucksack and was walking her brown and white spaniel, Zebulon, which was later found in Minnis Bay.

Kent Police said on Saturday that a body was found in a location near Minnis Bay at 7pm on Friday, and the family of Ms Knights have been informed.

A Kent Police spokesman said that the death was being treated as suspicious.

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He said: “Officers have attended a location near Minnis Bay, Birchington, where a woman was found deceased.

“Kent Police was alerted by a member of the public shortly after 7pm on Friday 25 August 2023 and patrols are currently at the scene.

Claire Knights’s dog, Zebulon

“Formal identification has not yet taken place, however, the family of a 54-year-old woman reported missing from Upstreet on Wednesday 23 August are aware.”

He added: “The death is being treated as suspicious and on Thursday 24 August, a man in his 20s from Margate was arrested on suspicion of murder.

“There will be an increased police presence in the area while investigations into the circumstances are under way.”

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