Murder investigation: Man held for medical assessment after body found during search for Claire Knights

Emergency services

Kent Police has now launched a murder investigation after a woman was found dead near Birchington during the search for missing Claire Knights.

Shortly after 7pm on Friday 25 August, officers attended the scene between St Nicholas At Wade and Minnis Bay.

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

A post mortem examination has been completed and Kent Police’s Major Crime Department has now launched a murder investigation.

Claire’s vehicle, a silver Suzuki car, was recovered from Shuart Lane, St Nicholas At Wade. She is believed to have walked from there to the Minnis Bay area of Birchington with her dog, where she is reported to have been seen later that afternoon.

The spaniel was recovered in Minnis Bay by officers on 23 August.

On Thursday 24 August, a man in his 20s from Margate was arrested on suspicion of murder. He has since been detained for assessment by medical professionals.

There will be an increased police presence in the area as searches by specialist officers and enquiries by a team of detectives continue.

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation should call 101, quoting reference number 23-1922.

If you have other CCTV or dashcam footage please upload it here:

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or by using the anonymous online form on their website.


  1. Before making any comments, why do you people not wait until some confirmed information is available regarding this ladies demise. Stupid comments about dangerous people walking out streets does not help. Think of her family first!!! RIP Claire

  2. Because they don’t really care about the lady or her family.

    They just see it as an opportunity to type their views from the safety of a keyboard!

    Oh Lucy… its not safe for ANYONE!!!

    • I often go out walking in Kent. On my own.
      On my ramblings I’ve met all sorts of people. Men, women, dog walkers, cyclists.
      I’ve never felt unsafe.
      And if you look at the statistics, you’ll see that the tragic event experienced by Claire is extremely rare.
      So I don’t accept your sweeping generalisation that “it’s not safe for ANYONE”.

  3. As a frail elderly gentleman I have been verbally assaulted on 3 occasions in recent years, once by neighbours in Ramsgate High street, and again by neighbours in my road. They were dealing drugs, and myself and a police inspector took 8 months to have them evicted. During this period another neighbour suggested I buy a “Farb-gel criminal identifier” which is small hand held spray. They spray a fine jet of red paint up to about a range of 3 meters, they are perfectly legal, and I never leave the house without one! They don’t cost much, and can be sprayed into the eyes of an attacker, harmlessly, as the paint can be washed out, but it will temporarily blind an attacker! On one occasion I threatened a young man with it, when he was trying to snatch a baby from a young mums pram, and he thought it was a pepper spray!

    • If you sprayed anything into someone’s eyes (or anywhere else on their person) it would be assault.

      • Who cares Phyliis? I wouldn’t spray anyone unless they were attacking me, after first making them aware I have a spray. In the case of the couple who were verbally assaulting me in Ramsgate High Street, and on 2 other occasions, I held the spray up and said if you come any nearer you are likely to be sprayed, and held it up at face level! That did it and they ran off! In all cases I reported it to the police. If the police arrested me for assault, I would insist on a trial by Jury, and let them decide if I was right wrong! In one case the police did confiscate my “Criminal Identifier” spray and were made to pay for a replacement!

        • Dumpton – what a delightful person you are! You need to get a life especially given your admitted frailty as elderly gentleman. Carrying sprays is not a recommended course of action nor is threatening to use them.

          • I think you would find Dumpton is advocating using it as self defence by which these products are meant for. Why do people need to find fault with everything and anything? It’s better than carrying a knife around !

        • “Who cares Phyliis?”

          You would, when you’re facing the same charges acid attackers would face.

          You’re also showing the Police you have a history of premeditation of the device to cause harm to others.

  4. “Formal identification has not yet taken place” lets hope it’s not Clair for both her and her families sake – but has to be some poor woman murdered, RIP whoever it is, so very sad.
    Yet “A post mortem examination has been completed”?
    This report is very vague and no one should jump to conclusions until all the facts are out there in the media, I think.

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