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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

British Tourist Killed Near Sergiyev Posad

Mosoblproc.ruPamela Crane
An elderly British woman who had come to Moscow with a tourist group was strangled and her body abandoned in a forest outside Moscow, prosecutors said Monday.

The body of Pamela Crane, 72, was discovered June 3 in a forest 500 meters from the village of Repikhovo in the Sergiyev Posad district of the Moscow region, the Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.

Crane had apparently been strangled with a rope that was still attached to the body when it was found, prosecutors said. Investigators identified the body as Crane's on June 15.

A murder investigation has been opened, though no suspects had been identified as of Monday. Robbery was a possible motive, prosecutors said in the statement. Calls to prosecutors went unanswered Monday.

Crane, a British citizen who was a permanent resident of New Zealand, had arrived in Russia on May 27 with a tourist group and was last seen two days later at the Izmailovo Vega hotel, near the Partizanskaya metro station, where she was staying, prosecutors said.

Attempts to reach hotel officials for comment were unsuccessful, but the New Zealand Herald newspaper reported Monday that Crane stayed there on May 27 and 28 and that hotel records showed she paid for her breakfast at 9:23 a.m. on May 29.

According to prosecutors, she then purchased a ticket at the Yaroslavsky train station and left on her own for Sergiyev Posad, a tourist destination 70 kilometers northeast of the city that is popular for its historic monastery. She was not seen again.

Her son was to pick her up at the Auckland Airport on June 10, but found she was not on the flight, the newspaper said.

Following Crane's disappearance, the British and New Zealand embassies, together with local authorities, conducted an extensive search for her, a British Embassy spokesman said.

Her brother, Terry Stretton, told the New Zealand Herald her family had thought it was strange when Crane did not contact them again. They had assumed it was because she was nearing the end of her trip or had no Internet access, he said.

Crane was a resident of Pakuranga, a suburb of Auckland, and she traveled on a British passport even though she had lived in New Zealand for 30 years, the newspaper reported.

The report said she was a teacher, and that she had four adult children.