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Game lodge owner Christine Robinson - who is believed to have been murdered in South Africa - had just withdrawn ages to pay staff were missing, according to a family spokesman.
Mrs Robinson, a former primary school teacher, jointly owned the game lodge with her husband, Robbie, who died from cancer two years ago. Her niece Lehanne Sergison, 43, from Bickley, Kent, said friends and family are "heartbroken".
There has been frustration over the fact the press seems to have more information about the incident than the family.
A British woman described as "bubbly" and "adventurous" is believed to have been murdered in South Africa.
Described as a "wonderful lady" Christine Robinson, 59, who was originally from Liverpool but had been living in South Africa for about 10 years, is thought to have been found stabbed to death and robbed.
Her body was found on Wednesday in her bedroom at the game lodge she owned in Limpopo, near Thabazimbi, 150 miles north-west of Johannesburg.