A Lebanese Uber driver suspected of killing a British woman working for his country’s embassy in Beirut was arrested on Monday, a judicial source said.
Rebecca Dykes was found dead on Saturday night along a highway north of Beirut, with a rope around her neck and signs of strangulation.
She worked for the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), a government agency.
His alleged killer, “a Lebanese driver… confessed his crime,” said the news agency ANI.
The young woman was riding in the man’s car on Friday night after booking a car through the ride-sharing platform Uber in a trendy neighborhood in central Beirut. The driver then took the direction of a highway north of the capital before the attack happened, including sexually assault, according to the same source.
The suspect “tried to rape her and when she resisted, he strangled her before throwing away her body (…), he took her wallet and threw it into a dumpster,” according to ANI.
In Lebanon, women often use Uber-type applications, which are considered safer than taxis. Their drivers must provide a number of personal data and vehicle information.
The alleged killer was arrested on Monday “at dawn,” an unnamed security official told journalists, ruling out any “political motivation” behind the crime.
The driver was found thanks to the traffic control cameras, according to ANI.
Such crimes are rare in the Lebanese capital, considered relatively safe for tourists and the large expatriate community residing there.
“The whole embassy is deeply shocked and saddened by this news,” responded Britain’s ambassador to Beirut Hugo Shorter on Sunday, expressing his condolences to the “Becky” family.
“We are devastated by the death of our beloved Rebecca and we are doing everything we can to understand what has happened,” the family said in a statement from the British Foreign Office.