A decade after going missing while hiking in the Tramuntana mountains, RAF auxiliary sergeant, Jacqueline Tennant, is finally going to return home to the UK early next week where she will be given a military funeral and have a plaque placed in her honour in Shropshire alongside all the members of the RAF who have lost their lives during their service.
Jacqueline spent the summer of 2007 working as a sports instructor for First Choice in Can Picafort and spent all of her days off hiking round the island. On 9 October, Jacqueline went for a hike and was never seen or heard of again. The final call she made on her mobile phone was to her boss to describe the wonderful view, but she didn’t say where she was.
Since her disappearance, her sister Monique has led a campaign to find out what happened to her sister, flying back and forth between London and Palma to keep the investigation alive. She even paid for a private search team to come to the island.
On 15 September 2015, a hiker stumbled across some remains off the old path up to Lluc, and investigators eventually ruled that the remains were those of Jacqueline. Various items were found with the remains. However, Monique refused to believe that it was her sister who, due to her military training, would never have lost her way or fallen to her death.
But this week Monique has been back on the island arranging for the repatriation of the body. "Trekking to the spot where the body was found on Wednesday was tough. We placed a plaque and took pictures of the area which was well overgrown.
"Going to the municipal morgue yesterday was very emotional. Some of the guys from First Choice came to meet and help me, which was really nice, and looking through the items which were found with the remains I came across her watch. A watch which was a souvenir from one of the Olympic Games she was a volunteer at.
"What is clear is that the investigation has gone as far as it can in Majorca. I believe 60 to 70 per cent that it is Jacqueline but there are so many unanswered questions and I will look for the answers back in the UK where a coroner will have to sign off on the remains when they arrive anyway. But her remains are in a small coffin and they placed two red roses on top and we will fly her home early next week where she will be met by the RAF and taken away for her military funeral.
"The RAF have been really supportive. They still remember her even though she’s been gone for the past ten years. The RAF are also organising a special service in her commemoration. The RAF have offered me and the family all the help we have needed and that has been wonderful and very nice.
"But, as I’ve said, the journey still is not over for me and the family; in fact a new chapter is about to begin. I will appoint a British coroner to mount a new investigation in the UK. I am not convinced about the cause of death, none of that makes any sense to me. She was always so careful.
"However, at least we can finally take her home and give her the funeral she deserves and I can not thank you and the Bulletin enough for all you have done to help over the past ten years. It’s been extremely emotional and very testing, trying at times but for the moment I guess I have to take things as face value and take things up in the UK."
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