On 9 October, 2007, Jacqueline Tennant, 45, failed to turn up for work. The RAF sergeant was on a career break and took a job as a swimming instructor in Can Picafort, spending all of her days off hiking around Majorca. Ever since, her family, led by sister Monique, has been fighting for the truth of what happened.
While the Guardia Civil led its own investigation, Monique has spent thousands of pounds on a private investigator and on bringing expert search teams out from the UK to help try and find her sister. At first it was thought that she had been hiking up the La Victoria mountain in Alcudia, but eventually a trace of her final mobile phone call suggested that she had been in the Tramuntana. This was made at around midday to her boss to talk about how beautiful the view was. The area of mountains was between Pollensa and Lluc, a vast and complicated area to search.
The investigation continued, with Monique regularly travelling to the island to keep the pressure on the Inca courts and the Guardia Civil, the latter of which have done everything possible to help over the years. Then, last year, a possible breakthrough was made. The police confirmed that human remains had been found between Lluc and Pollensa and claimed they were those of Jacqueline. The find was at 1.30pm on Sunday, 23 August by a hiker who had strayed from a path into a wooded area and spotted a rucksack.
Monique was at first very sceptical; she still is. Speaking in Palma this week, she said: "I still maintain that it was very unusual for Jacqueline, a trained hiker, to have strayed off the proper path for no reason"
Eventually, after nearly a year of waiting, Monique recently received the results of the forensic tests on the remains. They conclude that the certainty of them being of Jacqueline are 82 per cent and that the cause of death was "a probably violent accident" due to the traumatic injuries to the skull. She also suffered severe internal and external bleeding.
But, apart from 82 per cent not being 100 per cent conclusive, Monique said that there is one final forensic test the family wants taken before they can make a decision. "Based on the dental records, the forensic reports put her age at 44.4 years old. But they did not use the dental records to measure the teeth, which is standard practice in the UK. The forensic data was matched against European Union data, and that is where I have doubts because Jacqueline is of Caribbean origins and the shape of the skull is different to that of Europeans.
"We’ve been to the court asking for all the documentation, but they said that we have to apply via a lawyer. That means more money. They can’t find her belongings either, and there is a belt I want to see because I will know if it was hers of not.
"We don’t want to start paying out more money for a lawyer who will spend most of the time going over things that we already know, but if we have to, we will. We will spare no expense for Jacqueline.I am appealing on behalf of my family to the justice system in Majorca and to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to just give us one last chance, give us one final break, please.
"Hand over all the documentation and carry out one final forensic test on the skull and test it against Caribbean data. If that proves a match, then we will accept that it is Jacqueline who was found and we can repatriate the remains and give her a proper burial.
"What also really upset me was that I was told by the courts that they were running out of room at the forensic lab and that unless a decision was made soon, the remains of whoever they found would be buried in a common grave in Pollensa without our permission. Please, we just want one final chance so we can finally get closure and grieve," Monique, who still cries for her sister, pleaded.