October 23, 2020

British mom found dead in Antigua


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A British mother-of-two has been found dead on a beach just hours after she arrived in Antigua for her
father’s wedding.

Nicola Raybone, 33, vanished when she went to watch the sunset after being left alone at a bar in her all-inclusive hotel in Antigua.

Friends returned from a meal to find the mother of two missing and alerted the hotel’s security and the police.

An hour after a search operation was launched, her body dressed in wet clothes was discovered lying on the beach.

Police in Antigua say the cause of death is unknown but there was no sign of injury or indication of violence and it is believed she may have fallen into the sea and drowned.

The tragedy occurred last Thursday after Miss Raybone – described as a doting mother to her two children Amy 11 and Dylan 13 – had just arrived at their 40 acre Jolly Beach Resort Hotel complex to attend the wedding which was being held there.

The ceremony at the £300-a-night complex was due to take place on the beachfront the next day and Miss Raybone, from Lytham, Lancs and friends gathered for early doors drinks.

The party left for dinner at about 6pm at one of the resort’s five restaurants but left Miss Raybone alone at the bar. She then mysteriously disappeared leaving her shoes and mobile phone behind on a table.

The dead woman’s uncle David Barlow said: “Nicola had two children Amy 11 and Dylan 13 whom she adored.

“She was there with her friend Becky and her kids to celebrate her father’s wedding. She was alone for a short time at the bar and her shoes and phone had been left on the bar.

“She was a good swimmer and none of this makes any sense to me. Surely at around 6pm or 7pm there would have been people on the beach who may have seen something.

“Her mother is distraught, if anyone can remember seeing her or know anything that may be of help please contact the police.

“Nicola was the most pleasant girl I’ve ever met. Never once have I heard her raise her voice to anyone. She loved her kids unconditionally and she received the same back from them.

“My sister is inconsolable. None of this makes any sense to us, so please anyone with any information let the police know. I also realise it is most likely to be just a tragic accident but we need to know. RIP sweetheart, will never forget you.”

On a social networking site Miss Raybone wrote: “Hey I am Nikki. Married and very happy to the most amazing and gorgeous woman and love of my life.”

Sgt William Holder, from Antigua Police said: “She was on the island for a wedding that should have been happening the following day. A family member was getting married.

“Obviously the family is very distressed, it’s a tragic situation. Her clothes were wet but it is not yet known whether she had been in the water or not.

“She was found on the shoreline between the surf and where the water breaks.”

The Foreign Office confirmed a British National had died in Antigua and consular assistance was being offered to the family who remain on the island.

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