Sarah Ferguson inundated with support following murder of close friend

Sarah Ferguson in outfit covered with butterflies
(Adam Ihse/TT/Shutterstock)

Sarah Ferguson has been inundated with support as the Duchess of York revealed that her former PA, Jenean Chapman, had been murdered while staying in Dallas, Texas.

Taking to her social media pages, the royal shared a photo of the pair together inside a black car with the window partially rolled down, as well as a solo image of the 46-year-old smiling away. In a touching tribute, Sarah penned: "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. I will be making a donation and supporting the family in any way possible - please help if you can at the link in my bio."

The Duchess was soon flooded with messages of condolence from her followers, with one saying: "So sorry to hear this! Sarah, you are truly a kind, sincere and wonderful human being. A true Royal through and through," while a second commented: "Horrific news, condolences to her family & friends."

A third added: "How very tragic…. Sorry to hear this," while a fourth wrote: "A very sad situation. May she rest in peace," and a fifth posted: "I'm so sorry for your loss @sarahferguson15. Sending my deepest condolences and prayers to her family."

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Jenean had only moved to Dallas five months ago to pursue a new career, according to her family. Speaking to local media, one of her sisters, Crystal, said: "We're just in shock, and we're trying to gather ourselves and collect all the missing pieces of information. She's had a plethora of accolades throughout the years, and then in her last role, she was a senior vice president at Critical Mass over digital marketing. Also, in conjunction with that, she was about to start her own business."

Sarah Ferguson in a white blouse with curled hair
Sarah spoke about her sadness (NBC)

Her body was found in her apartment on Monday after the company she worked for called the police for a wellness check when she didn't show up for work. Jenean's sisters say they were told by investigators that their sister's body could have been in the apartment for days before being discovered. A cause of death has not been released, but a coroner concluded that her death was the result of a homicide.

A suspect, Patrick James, 48, was arrested on Wednesday in Austin, Texas, with the police remanding him in custody and charging him with the murder of Jeanean.

Sarah, Duchess of York, at the London Book Fair in Olympia
Sarah urged fans to donate to a GoFundMe (Getty)

Speaking about the development, Crystal said: "We are relieved, we have been in constant contact with the detective, and he made us aware of the arrest. We're happy at this point that an arrest has been made, but we're definitely not stopping, and we want to get the word out for sure."

READ: Sarah Ferguson pays emotional tribute to 'dearest friend' Princess Diana

MORE: Sarah Ferguson is recovering from breast cancer surgery

She added: "We are seeking justice for her and we are willing to do anything in our power to make sure that happens and seek the fullest extent of the law to make sure this guy stays behind bars."