Body found by police probing woman's disappearance

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The Independent Online

A post-mortem examination will take place today on the body of a woman believed to be missing millionairess Joanna Brown.

Officers investigating the 46-year-old's disappearance, found a body in dense woodland in Windsor Great Park, Berkshire last night.

Mrs Brown's husband Robert, also 46, appeared at Slough Magistrates' Court yesterday charged with her murder and was remanded in custody until Monday when he will appear at Reading Crown Court for a bail hearing.

A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said last night: "Officers attended the scene of where the body was discovered, following information received yesterday afternoon in connection with the disappearance of 46-year-old Joanna Brown from Ascot.

"Although a formal identification has not yet taken place, Joanna's family have been kept fully updated and continue to be supported by specially trained family liaison officers.

"A post-mortem is expected to take place tomorrow."

Earlier the court heard Mrs Brown is thought to have died a violent, unnatural or sudden death.

Police have spent the past few days scouring the densely wooded park for her remains.

She was reported missing at 8am last Monday after a family member raised the alarm, concerned at not being able to contact her.

Officers forced entry into her sprawling country mansion, which was empty at the time, and a subsequent search led them to believe she had been attacked.

The couple's marital home, Tun Cottage, was run as an award-winning bed and breakfast by Mrs Brown after they separated.

The mock-Tudor property, worth in the region of £3 million, is described on its website as a "beautiful English country home" and was awarded a four-star Gold Award by Visit Britain.

Mrs Brown, who had lived there for 12 years, turned it into the guest house two years ago.

She was from a privileged background and was described as fun and outgoing by a close friend.

The pair, who married 11 years ago, were going through divorce proceedings when Mrs Brown went missing.

They have two children, an 11-year-old boy and a nine-year-old girl.

Mrs Brown's family has described her as a "very special person", saying she was "loved and admired by everyone".

In a statement, they said: "This is a very difficult time for our family. We ask that anyone with information about the whereabouts of Joanna contact the police."

Brown, of North Street, Winkfield, is accused of murdering his wife sometime between Saturday and Monday.

He is also charged with preventing a coroner from holding an inquest by disposing of her body in an unknown place.