Girlfriend of tourist who drowned in Laos found dead in hotel room

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The girlfriend of a man who was swept to his death while swimming on holiday in Laos has been found dead in a hotel room days before a charity tribute in his memory.

Kate Downey, from Middlesborough, was the girlfriend of John-Paul Conley, 35, who drowned last November after swimming in a river on the Don Phon island in Laos.

At the time of his death, well-wishers helped raise £30,000 via gofundme for searches of the area in a bid to find John Paul.

But after four days his body was found on a beach by the river.

Miss Downey's body was found in a Premier Inn in Newcastle on Saturday, and police said nobody else was involved in her death.

Kate's brother Lee Downey posted on a tribute website: "For those who knew them Kate Downey and John-Paul Conley are now together forever.

"The pain and loss has proved too much for Kate to bear. Hope you have found your Shangri-la, having the next great adventure with Jonny. RIP our beautiful sister."

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police told The Northern Echo: "At 12.25pm on Saturday (14 March), police were informed of concern for a woman in a hotel room in the Premier Inn in Ponteland Road in Woolsington.

"Police and paramedics attended and a woman in her 30s was pronounced dead at the scene. There is believed to be no third-party involvement and a report will be prepared for the coroner."

Organisers of the tribute night for Mr Conley, in aid of the RNLI, have now cancelled the event in light of the news.

According to the Daily Mail, a post on the charity event Facebook page read: "In light of the tragic news this weekend Friday night will obviously not be going ahead at such a terrible time for both families and loved ones of Kate and John-Paul, our thoughts and love are with them all."

The couple had been away travelling for a year when Mr Conley died in Laos.

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