An Uber driver with a criminal record has confessed to the killing of a British woman who worked at the British Embassy in Beirut, a Lebanese security source said on Monday.
The Lebanese security source said preliminary investigations into the murder of Rebecca Dykes,30, showed the motive was purely criminal, not political, and that the suspect had immediately confessed to the crime, which took place early on Saturday.
A spokesman for Uber said in an email: “We are horrified by this senseless act of violence. Our hearts are with the victim and her family. We are working with authorities to assist their investigation in any way we can.”
Lebanon’s state news agency NNA said the suspect had picked Ms Dykes up in his taxi in Beirut’s Gemmayzeh district on Friday evening before assaulting and killing her. Police traced his car through surveillance cameras on the highway, it said.
Ms Dykes’ body was found strangled by a main highway outside Beirut, a security source said on Sunday. She was working as a programme and policy manager with the Department for International Development and as policy manager with the Libya team at the Foreign Office (FCO), according to her LinkedIn page.
“The whole embassy is deeply shocked, saddened by this news,” British ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter said on Sunday.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca,” Ms Dykes’ family said in a statement issued by Britain’s Foreign Office. “We are doing all we can to understand what happened.”
Lebanon’s Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk said security forces had arrested the suspect “in record time”.
“These exceptional efforts reassure the Lebanese and foreigners that security is under control in Lebanon,” he tweeted.