The family of Claire Knights, whose body was found between St Nicholas At Wade and Minnis Bay on August 25, have paid tribute to a woman who loved her family and was a “trailblazer in life.”
Claire, 54, had been reported missing from Upstreet on Wednesday 23 August.
The mum-of-one’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.
A family tribute says: “Claire was a loving mum, partner, daughter and sister. An amazing contemporary artist, a trailblazer in life.
“She loved animals and in particular, her Springer Spaniel, Zebulon.
“We, the family, are struggling to come to terms with the fact she is no longer with us. We wish to thank friends and the community for their active support and kind words.”
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.
At an inquest this week it was heard that cause of death is believed to be by drowning and blunt-force trauma. The inquest has now been suspended while a murder investigation continues.
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