Doha: The body of a British teacher murdered in Qatar was burnt beyond recognition deep in the desert, her family has revealed.

Lauren Patterson, 24, is believed to have been stabbed to death by a local acquaintance who offered her a lift home after a night out at a club popular with expats. The fire was so intense that her body was reduced to ashes apart from a piece of her skull and her feet. A mouth brace worn by Patterson also survived.

Her remains would probably never have been found had it not been for for a falconer whose bird of prey picked up the scent and led him to the fire. He alerted police, who waited in sand dunes and seized the killer’s accomplice when he returned hours later.

Two men have been charged and will face the death penalty if convicted.

Patterson’s body has yet to be identified officially. Qatari security forces made arrests over Patterson’s death, the interior ministry said on Wednesday. Teacher Lauren Patterson went missing on Saturday after a night out, according to British press reports. Her body was found shortly afterwards. “The security services arrested the perpetrators of the murder of a young woman of European nationality,” the interior ministry said on its website, adding that the case has been referred to a court. It did not say how many suspects were arrested or name the victim.

Patterson, who taught at a primary school in Doha, was last seen leaving the night club of a luxury hotel with two men, Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper reported. It said Patterson’s boyfriend had raised the alarm, launching a campaign over social media to locate her before the body was found. Police had arrested two men, believed to be Qataris, in connection with the case