The family of a former Royal Marine believed to have been murdered on an island in the Indian Ocean said today there had been a "cover-up" after they were initially led to believe it was an accident.
Carl Davies, 33, was working as a security guard on the island of Reunion to protect the area from the threat of piracy, when he died on November 9.
His parents, Andrew and Maria Davies, from Maidstone, Kent, were first told he had been killed after falling down a 30ft cliff but have now been given the news that he had also been stabbed and beaten with a bat.
They believe his murder was a cover-up to protect the image of the French territory as it is heavily dependent on tourism.
Mr Davies, 52, told the Daily Mail: "It is an absolute disgrace that we have been allowed to believe for a week that his death was an accident.
"There has been a serious cover-up - a catalogue of lies. The French authorities do not want anyone to know that he has been murdered as they don't want to damage tourism."
The family want his body to be repatriated and a British coroner to oversee the investigation into his death.
Hundreds of people have contributed to a Facebook page set up in memory of Mr Davies, who previously taught at the Isle of Sheppey Academy.
One tribute described him as "respectable, inspirational and a privilege to have known" and said he had lived "a life full of achievement".
Another, from Sky Eatwell, said: "He was a man that, whether a family member, teacher or friend, made people feel as though anything was possible if you tried hard enough.
"When he walked into a room, you felt it. He was kind, funny, caring and when you got to know him, he would let you in and show you just how great he really was."
A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We can confirm the death of a British national on Reunion Island on November 9.
"Next of kin have been informed and we are providing consular assistance." PAReuse content