Tributes To Fife Worker Killed In Lapland

6 December 2016, 11:32

Tributes have been paid to a Scottish tour guide who was stabbed to death in Lapland.

The victim was named locally as Rebecca Johnson, 26, from Burntisland in Fife.

Her body was discovered in the Finnish village of Kuttanen on Saturday.

She was a member of the Santa Safari team which works with Oxford-based tour operator Transun Travel to organise Christmas-themed excursions to Lapland.

Ms Johnson's great-aunt Val Laing, who stays in Burntisland, said her great-niece would be greatly missed.

She said: "Rebecca was a beautiful girl.

"I had come home from Edinburgh when her grandad was on the phone to tell me what had happened. I couldn't take it in at first.

"For her parents and grandparents to lose her just before Christmas is devastating. I'll be there for them but I don't know how they are going to cope.''

It is understood Ms Johnson's parents have travelled to Lapland.

Her 36-year-old Czech boyfriend has been arrested and is in police custody on suspicion of the killing following a police manhunt in Arctic conditions in temperatures of minus 30C (minus 22F).

A statement from the Lapland Police Department said: "Police are continuing their investigations into the homicide in the village of Kuttanen, by Enontekio, in Finland.

"`A 26-year-old British citizen has died as a result of the incident.

"Following a manhunt, a 36-year-old Czech man was detained as a suspect. Police are recommending he'd be imprisoned and formally charged with murder on Wednesday December 7.''

A spokeswoman for Santa Safari said on Monday: "We are deeply saddened to confirm that a member of the Santa Safari team was discovered dead on December 3.

"We are all in shock from this tragic news and our thoughts go out to her family.

"Our team is working closely with the Finnish police and relevant authorities to support the investigation that is now under way.

"It goes without saying that we will do everything we can to support the family and our staff at this incredibly difficult time.''

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said: "We are supporting the family of a British national who died in Finland on December 3.''

Police Scotland confirmed they have been contacted by the FCO regarding the incident and are assisting them as required.