Millionairess killed by 'severe blunt force'

Police have confirmed that a body found in dense woodland is that of a missing millionairess alleged to have been murdered by her Scottish husband.

Officers investigating 46-year-old Joanna Brown's disappearance found her body on the Crown Estate near Windsor Great Park, Berkshire, on Friday night.

A post-mortem examination conducted at Wexham Park Hospital yesterday revealed that she died from "severe blunt force trauma to the head and associated complications," a spokesman for Thames Valley Police said.

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Mrs Brown's husband Robert, an airline pilot who is originally from Edinburgh, has been charged with her murder.

Police spent last week scouring the densely wooded park for Mrs Brown's remains. She was reported missing at 8am last Monday after a family member raised the alarm, concerned at not being able to contact her.

Police forced entry into her sprawling country mansion in Ascot, 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 she and her husband separated.

The mock-Tudor property, worth about 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 and have two children, were going through divorce proceedings when she went missing.

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Her family described her as a "very special person", saying she was "loved and admired by everyone".

The police spokesman said yesterday: "Ms Brown's family are asking to have their privacy respected at this difficult time.

"There are no plans for a family tribute or interviews at the moment."

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

The 46-year-old airline pilot appeared at Slough Magistrates' Court on Friday and was remanded in custody until today when he is scheduled to appear at Reading Crown Court for a bail hearing.

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