FAMILY and friends have been left devastated by the mystery death of a young mum in the Caribbean where she had jetted to for her father’s wedding.
Nicola Raybone, 33, who flew out to Antigua with her family on Thursday, was found dead on the beach just hours after arriving on the paradise island.
A police investigation is under way and a post mortem is due to be carried out to ascertain a cause of death.
Ms Raybone’s body was discovered on the shoreline at the Jolly Beach Resort on the west coast of the island.
Police in Antigua say the cause of death is unknown but there was no sign of injury or indication of violence.
Ms Raybone – known to her friends as Nikki – was believed to be living in St Annes at the time of her death but had previously lived on Mornington Road, Lytham. Former neighbours there told of their shock. They said Ms Raybone had two children she doted on,
One woman, who asked not to be named, said: “I didn’t know her too well, but my children know her children and it was clear they absolutely worshipped her. I can’t believe this has happened to her.”
Ms Raybone’s group spent some time at the all-inclusive Jolly Beach Resort, but later some members left to eat at around 7pm, leaving Ms Raybone in the hotel complex. When the rest of the party returned, Ms Raybone could not be found and her family alerted the hotel’s security and the police. A search was launched and an hour later her body was discovered.
Senior Sgt William Holder, from the Strategic Communications Department (STRATCOM) in Antigua, said: “Obviously the family are very distressed, it’s a tragic situation. Her clothes were wet but it is not yet known whether she had been in the water or not.”
The Foreign Office confirmed a British National had died in Antigua and consular assistance was being offered to the family who remain on the island.
Friends and relatives, who have posted tributes on-line, say Ms Raybone will be deeply missed. Dave Barlow, who said he was Ms Raybone’s uncle, posted: “Nicola was the most pleasant girl I’ve ever met.
“Never once have I heard her raise her voice to anyone. She loved her kids unconditionally and she received the same back from them. My sister is inconsolable.”