Efforts to bring body back after Libya killing

Lynn Howie.
Lynn Howie.
Efforts to bring home the body of a New Zealand woman shot dead on a Libyan beach are making "good progress" but no arrests over the death have been made, authorities say.

Wellington health worker Lynn Howie, 46, and her British-born boyfriend Mark De Salis, 48, were reportedly killed execution-style as they picnicked on an isolated beach at Sabratha, about 100km from Tripoli, last week.

Ms Howie, a mother of two, was in Libya to visit Mr De Salis and had planned to travel on to London. She had intended to return to New Zealand, where the couple was believed to have been planning to live together.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Mfat) said it was providing consular assistance to Ms Howie's family and helping to repatriate her body.

A spokesman said the ministry was respecting the family's request for privacy around the repatriation.

"The ministry is satisfied that good progress has been made with the repatriation process."

Ms Howie had worked as a health protection officer at Regional Public Health, where staff earlier this week gathered to pay an informal tribute to her.

Manager Peter Gush said he was mindful of the family's desire for privacy, but added he was in touch with the family around funeral arrangements.

The arrangements were "all up in the air, given that it's the other side of the world".

Mr Gush said Ms Howie's death had been "pretty hard" on staff.

"There were people who were very close to Lynn. But we're just supporting each other, as you do, and as usual in these situations as an employer, staff do have access to talk with people outside the organisation, professionals, if they wish to."

Ms Howie was well regarded by colleagues.

"She was a valued employee, she was good at what she did and she was well-liked in the workplace."

Mr Gush said about half the staff who worked closest with Ms Howie were still on holiday, and no formal plans to mark her life had been made.

"We gathered together on Monday morning just to sit around and talk and to remember Lynn, just to those who were in the office on Monday, but that's as much as we've done so far."

Mfat said no arrests had been made in relation to the case. Libyan authorities were investigating and the ministry was following investigation closely on behalf of the family.

"The ministry has made direct representations to the Libyan government regarding the importance of thoroughly investigating this crime.

"While we accept that the security situation in Libya is difficult, we welcome the efforts that are being made to bring those responsible for Ms Howie's death to justice."

- Matthew Backhouse of APNZ

ODT/directory - Local Businesses

CompanyLocationBusiness Type
Alan Dove PhotographyDunedinPhotographers
South Tile OtagoDunedinRoofers
Simply Perfect WeddingsQueenstownParty Planning
Trevor Laing & Associates - Insolvency Specialists DunedinDunedin