Girlfriend of Middlesbrough Man Who Died In Laos Found Dead

18 March 2014, 10:57 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

The Middlesbrough girlfriend of a man swept away while swimming in a river in Laos has been found dead in a hotel room.

Kate Downey died just a few months after her boyfriend John-Paul Conley was killed in the Asian country as the pair travelled the world together.

At the time well-wishers raised more than £30,000 to fund searches of the area which included helicopter sweeps in a bid to search for the 35-year-old.

But the four-day search ended in tragedy when his body was found on a beach along the river.

The police confirmed Ms Downey's body was discovered in a hotel room on Saturday, just days before a charity event had been planned in her boyfriend's memory.

On an internet tribute page, her brother Lee wrote:
"For those who knew them Kate Downey and John-Paul Conley are now together forever. The pain and loss has proved too much for Kate to bear.

In light of the tragic news this weekend Friday night will obviously not be going ahead at such a terrible time for both families and loved ones of Kate and John Paul, our thoughts and love are with them all."

Northumbria Police said they believed there was no third party involvement and a report was being prepared for the coroner.

A spokesman said:
"At 12.25pm on Saturday, March 15th, police were informed of concern for a woman in a hotel room in the Premier Inn on Ponteland Road in Woolsington.

Police and paramedics attended and a woman in her 30s was pronounced dead at the scene. There is believed to be no third party involvement and a report will be prepared for the coroner.'' 


UPDATED 21st November 2013

Friends and family of missing Middlesbrough man John-Paul Conley, who was swept away while swimming in Laos, are raising money to search for him

The 35 year old was travelling the world with his girlfriend Kate Downey.

They were swimming in an area of Laos known as the 4,000 Islands, when Mr Conley was swept away by a strong current.

Mr Conley's family and friends are raising funds to pay for a chartered search and rescue helicopter in an attempt to find him.

His friend Patrick told Capital:
"John and Kate had insurance, but from what I can gather, they didn't have a search and rescue option.

So what we're trying to do now is fund the search and rescue operation.

The longer that we can keep a helicopter in the air the next few days is obviously going be crucial in whether or not we find Jonny." 

So far the fundraising effort has raised more than £24,000.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has told Capital:
"We were notified on 19th November of a missing British national in Laos.

We are in close contact with the local authorities."