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Parents of killed Santa Safari tour worker travel to Lapland – BBC News

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Image caption Rebecca Johnson worked with Santa Safari in Lapland

The parents of a Santa tour guide who was stabbed to death in Lapland have travelled to Finland, it is understood.

The victim has been named locally as Rebecca Johnson, from Burntisland in Fife.

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

The 26-year-old was a member of the Santa Safari team which works with Oxford-based tour operator Transun Travel to organise Christmas-themed excursions to Lapland.

Her 36-year-old Czech boyfriend is in police custody.

Ms Johnson was a member of the Sled Dog Association of Scotland (SDAS), who said she was a “bright and bubbly young woman” who “lived for her dogs”.

In a statement on the SDAS website, the association said: “Our thoughts go out to her friends and family at this difficult time, especially so close to Christmas, a time to be with your loved ones.

“Rebecca was a keen musher who was a great supporter for SDAS, generously giving many ManMat prizes for our race competitors.”

A minute’s silence will be held for Ms Johnson at this weekend’s Darnaway race, followed by a collection for one of her favourite dog charities, SDAS added.

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Speaking to the Courier newspaper, Ms Johnson’s great-aunt Val Laing, who lives 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 granddad 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.”

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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 be imprisoned and formally charged with murder on Wednesday 7 December.”

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 3 December.

“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 3 December.”

Lapland Police said her boyfriend fled on a dog sled and a manhunt was launched involving snow scooters and a helicopter.

The man was found a few hours later in the wilderness, in temperatures of -30C, and taken to hospital.

After treatment he was taken into police custody.

Image copyright Finnish Police
Image caption Lapland Police Department released a photo of the spot where the man was detained
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Originally found athttp://www.bbc.com/news/uk