Back in October, Lauren Patterson, a 24-year-old British teacher working in Doha, Qatar was reported missing. Despite being badly burned, a body found soon thereafter in the desert was identified as Patterson through DNA testing. Two Qatari men, who have not been named, are standing trial for the murder after having been identified by a friend of Patterson's as the last to see her alive.
A Doha prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for one of the two men, who is accused of murdering her and disposing of her remains with the assistance of his accomplice, after he "conquered her body," a euphemism that somehow sounds even worse than the act it describes. A knife was reportedly found buried inside the rib cage of her charred body, although the exact cause of death has been hard to conclude:
Due to the extensive damage to the body from the fire, the doctor said he could not ascertain whether the cause of death was by stabbing, whether there was alcohol in the body, or if any sexual contact had taken place.
The court heard a detailed forensic investigation also uncovered a strand of Miss Patterson's hair in the first defendant's car, and matching sand granules were found on the remains, the tyres of his car and shoes at his home.
Doha News has a complete outline of the events. It's interesting to note that whether or not it can be proven that the defendant raped Patterson, the prosecutor has argued that since the two were not married, any form of sexual contact is illegal under the law, as is the consumption of alcohol.
[Image from Patterson's Facebook via Doha News]