Identity of woman found dead near Birchington confirmed as Claire Knights

Claire Knights

Officers investigating the murder of a woman whose body was found between St Nicholas At Wade and Minnis Bay have formally confirmed her identity as Claire Knights.

Shortly after 7pm on Friday 25 August, Kent Police officers attended the scene between St Nicholas At Wade and Minnis Bay where she was found deceased. Formal identification took place on Thursday 31 August.

Claire, 54, had been reported missing from Upstreet on Wednesday 23 August. A post mortem examination has been completed as part of the murder investigation by detectives from the Serious Crime Directorate.

 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.  Officers are not looking for anyone else in connection with the death.

Enquiries by a team of detectives continue, and anyone with information that may assist the investigation should call 101, quoting reference number 23-1922.

CCTV or dashcam footage can be uploaded here: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/4601020123F08-PO1

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

Claire (orange trousers) with TMS colleagues (Photo TMS)

Claire was an artist and sculptor and a member of The Margate School.

A tribute from TMS says: “It is with deepest sadness and disbelief that our dear friend Claire Knights has been found dead near Minnis Bay in Birchington.

“Claire held an exhibition at The Margate School before joining as a student as one of the first cohort of those studying for the European Fine Art Masters in 2019. Deferring her second year and graduating with distinction in 2022. S

“She was an outstanding and exceptional artist, whose work reflected her complex, loving nature. Her sculptural work had elements of humour and wit alongside the determination. Her initial contact via email in May 2019, in true manner of what she called “my flipping sense of humour”, began with “I am an un-google-able phenomenon of international acclaim”.

Photo TMS

Uwe Derksen, director of TMS, said: “Claire participated in events and workshops outside of her MA studies and was often a key contributor in thought and action. I recall that she created artwork of the local coastline to Make the Wave action at the School, part of a national creative coastal campaign to highlight rising seas ahead of the G7 summit in 2017, the artwork took the form of large banners that were displayed on the outside of the building.

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to Claire’s family. Her presence will be sorely missed, she was a frequent visitor to exhibitions and events at TMS with her partner, and she formed strong bonds with her fellow students and friends at the School. “Memories of her and with her, including the trip to Normandy before lockdown, will be held fondly.”

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