An inquest has opened today (September 4) into the death of Claire Knights, whose body was found on August 25 two days after she was reported missing.
The hearing at County Hall in Maidstone was told a post mortem gave cause of death believed to be drowning and blunt-force trauma. The inquest has now been adjourned while a murder investigation continues.
Claire, 54, had been reported missing from Upstreet on Wednesday 23 August.
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.
Shortly after 7pm on Friday 25 August, Kent Police officers attended the scene between St Nicholas At Wade and Minnis Bay where Claire was found deceased. It is reported that Claire was found by searching family members.
Formal identification took place on Thursday 31 August.
A post mortem examination was 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.