A film-maker found buried in a shallow grave in her back garden had been preparing to work on a new production, a friend has said.
Scotland Yard launched a murder inquiry after the body of 34-year-old missing woman Laureline Garcia-Bertaux was discovered in Richmond upon Thames, south-west London.
Ms Garcia-Bertaux had worked with Dame Joan Collins on 2018 short film Gerry, with the actress saying she was “shocked by the horrifying news”.
Producer and actress friend Hester Ruoff on Friday described Ms Garcia-Bertaux as “an amazing individual” and said they had been due to start filming on movie Spanish Pigeon next month.
I'm shocked by the horrifying news. Laureline was passionate about film. I enjoyed our collaboration and I thought she had a great future.Dame Joan Collins
South London-based Ms Ruoff said: “She’s absolutely one of a kind. She’s charismatic and dramatic and a supportive, passionate, creative woman.
“She and I were working on another film, which I’m shooting in six weeks.”
Ms Garcia-Bertaux was due to perform the role of line producer, and Ms Ruoff said she will now “make it in her memory”.
She said she was last in contact with her friend on Sunday but declined to discuss their conversation, saying she had been speaking to police.
Another friend, 27-year-old Daniel Hughes, said Ms Garcia-Bertaux had been due to meet with a “charismatic” vet for a coffee that evening.
Ms Garcia-Bertaux, originally from Aix-en-Provence, France, was reported as missing after failing to turn up for work at public relations company Golin on Monday.
Her body was discovered on Wednesday evening.
Dame Joan said: “I’m shocked by the horrifying news. Laureline was passionate about film. I enjoyed our collaboration and I thought she had a great future.”
Members of Ms Garcia-Bertaux’s family are believed to have flown into the UK from France.
No-one has been arrested and the results of a post-mortem examination are unknown.