Tributes paid to murdered French film-maker

An executive PA found buried in a shallow grave has been described by devastated colleagues as a "wonderfully creative, caring and charismatic woman".

French national Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34, was found buried in the garden of her home in Kew, south-west London, after she had failed to arrive at work on March 4.

One of her friends, 27-year-old Daniel Hughes, said she had been due to meet with a "charismatic" vet for a coffee the previous day.

Laureline Garcia-Bertaux death
Police forensics officers in Darell Road in Kew, south-west London where the body of Laureline Garcia-Bertaux, 34, from Richmond, was found in a shallow grave in the garden (Steve Parsons/PA)

On Monday Jonathan Hughes, chief executive of public relations company Golin where she had worked since January, said: "On behalf of everyone at Golin I want to express our deepest sympathies to Laureline's family and friends.

"We are all still very shocked by this senseless and tragic news and we continue to do everything we can to support her family, the police and
our team as the investigation evolves.

"Laureline was a wonderfully creative, caring and charismatic woman, full of energy and joie de vivre.

"That is the way she will always remembered by me and every one of her colleagues."

Ms Garcia-Bertaux was Mr Hughes' executive assistant, and had previously worked as a personal assistant at Discovery.

James Gibbons from the company said: "Laureline was a creative, kind and outgoing woman with a bright future ahead of her.

"She was loved by her colleagues at Discovery where she worked for three years, and we are all shocked and appalled by her senseless death.

"We will remember Laureline as an enormously talented woman with a great zest for life."

Originally from Aix-en-Provence, Ms Garcia-Bertaux had been living in Darell Road, Kew since April 2018 and was reported missing on Tuesday March 5 after she had failed to turn up for work the previous day.

Laureline Garcia-Bertaux death
A forensics officer removes items from a property on Darell Road in Kew, south-west London (Steve Parsons/PA)

Her body was found on March 6 and a post-mortem examination showed that she had been strangled.

As well as working as a personal assistant, she was involved in film and had worked with Dame Joan Collins on the 2018 short film Gerry, with the actress saying she was "shocked by the horrifying news" of her death.

Producer and actress friend Hester Ruoff described Ms Garcia-Bertaux as "an amazing individual" and said they had been due to start filming on a new movie next month.

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