Duchess of York ‘shocked and saddened’ by ‘murder’ of ex-assistant

Sarah, Duchess of York has paid tribute to a former personal assistant who was found dead in the US, saying “my heart breaks for her family and friends”.

Sarah said she was “shocked and saddened” by the death of Jenean Chapman, 46, who she remembered as “loyal, hardworking, beautiful and fun”.

Police found Ms Chapman’s body in her apartment in central Dallas on Monday, NBC News reported.

The channel added that a 48-year-old man is in custody after being arrested in Austin, Texas, by University of Texas Police in connection with Ms Chapman’s death.

Her sister Nicole Marshall told the station that Ms Chapman had been in an on-off relationship and had recently got married.

Sarah paid tribute in a post on Instagram, alongside a picture of a smiling Ms Chapman.

The duchess wrote: “I am shocked and saddened to learn that Jenean Chapman, who worked with me as my personal assistant many years ago, has been murdered in Dallas aged just 46. A suspect is in custody.

“Jenean was loyal, hardworking, beautiful and fun and my heart breaks for her family and friends. I heard from her just a couple of months ago and she seemed so happy.

“Her family is raising money to transport her body back to New York City and pay for legal and funeral costs.”

Sarah said she would be making a donation and hoped to support the family “in any way possible”.

She urged wellwishers to do the same if they can.