Pictured: The 'besotted' gardener boyfriend accused of murdering British expat inside her idyllic French cottage

  • First picture emerges of French odd-job man accused of murdering British expat Patricia Wilson
  • Miss Wilson had told friends she was scared of Jean-Louis Cayrou's possessive and controlling behaviour
  • Suspect had broken in before in alleged attempt to scare her into believing she wasn't safe alone
  • Prosecutor says crime of passion is most likely murder motive

By Emily Andrews


This is the gardener suspected of murdering his British ex-pat lover in a ‘crime of passion’.

Jean-Louis Cayrou is being held in jail, after Patricia Wilson, 58, vanished from her cottage more than ten days ago.

In the weeks before her suspected death the itinerant odd-job man allegedly broken into her home.

Decades-old picture of murder suspect Jean-Louis Cayrou

Suspect: Decades-old identity photo shows murder suspect Jean-Louis Cayrou in his late 20s

Patricia Wilson, who vanished from her home in a small French village of Vabre Tizac.
Patricia Wilson, a British woman who vanished from her home in a small French village of Vabre Tizac on Tuesday.

Missing: Frenchman has been accused of killing Patricia Wilson after she ended their relationship

Miss Wilson, 58, had told friends that she was frightened of his possessive and controlling behaviour after he moved into her stone cottage in south west France in April.

She threw him out six weeks ago, but in a terrifying experience he allegedly broke in to prove she was not safe alone.

Detectives believe Cayrou, 50, killed Miss Wilson and hid her body after she dumped him when she became 'scared' of his 'jealous and possessive behaviour'

Picture shows home of Patricia Wilson, in the hamlet of Les Landes Basses

Isolated: The cottage in Vabre Tizac, north-east of Toulouse, where the murder allegedly took place

Picture shows home of Patricia Wilson

Suspicious find: Police launched a murder inquiry after spotting blood inside the property

General view of the square in Vabre-Tizac, where Patricia Wilson was murdered

Idyllic: A church looms large in the center of Vabre Tizac, where Miss Wilson's alleged murder has stunned locals

Forensics experts found blood stains in her deserted cottage in the secluded village of Vabre-Tizac, and blood in a car belonging to Cayrou.

Officials released this picture of him, aged 29, from his identity card.

Public prosecutor Patrick Desjardins said: ‘We are pursuing the theory that Patricia Wilson had a brief relationship with the gardener and that her decision to end it led to her death.

Patricia Wilson, a British woman who vanished from her home in a small French village of Vabre Tizac

Hunt: Patricia Wilson disappeared from her cottage after returning from England

Picture shows home of Patricia Wilson
Donald Marcus, the long-term partner of Patricia Wilson

Shock: Former partner Donald Marcus had left the property and returned to England. He is said to be devastated by her suspected death

‘A crime of passion looks the most likely theory but we have not ruled out other avenues of investigation.

He also defended why his force was not actively looking for the body of the popular and sociable ex-pat.

‘He (Cayrou) has a much better knowledge of the area than us. We are hoping he will tell us where the corpse is.’

Aside from a cursory search of the two wells on her large secluded property, and a lake behind the stone cottage, there has been no sign of any activity.

Miss Wilson, a former advertising executive from Welwyn Garden City who loved art and travel, had moved to the beautiful, but secluded, village of Vabre-Tizac with her long-term partner Donald Marcus five years ago.

The couple had retired to renovate a £250,000 cottage in the middle of the countryside but the relationship had broken down at the end of last year when Mr Marcus returned to Britain for health reasons.

He has told friends he is ‘completely devastated’ over her death, although he and her elderly mother Jean are enduring further agony while the search for her body continues.

Picture shows general view of a caravan used by Jean-Louis Cayrou

Bolt hole: A secluded woodland caravan used by accused odd-job man Jean-Louis Cayrou

Car belonging to Patricia Wilson

Purchase: Miss Wilson had returned from England after buying a car

French forensic officers at the home of Patricia Wilson

Search: French officers are hoping murder suspect will tell them where Miss Wilson's body is

Police said they were convinced Wilson was murdered because of large quantities of blood they found around the property and in the gardener's car.

The stains were consistent with Wilson having been involved in a struggle and her body subsequently being dragged into a car, a police source said.

Cayrou was arrested on Friday, and is being held in jail, but continues to deny any involvement in her disappearance.

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