A fortune teller who set out from Sussex to seek her fortune has been found naked and dead in a rented room in Vietnam.

Julia Anne Jay, 43, had been living in the room in Saigon, also known as Ho Chi Minh City, since January as she worked as a fortune teller in the nearby streets.

But on August 8 police were called to the hotel, located in an alley in the city’s backpacker district, after the staff broke into her room on the second floor and found her body in the initial stages of decomposition.

Vietnamese police confirmed Miss Jay had been dead for several days and were continuing their investigations.

It is believed Miss Jay set out from her English home in her late teens to travel through South East Asia, working as she went.

More recently she had been making a living in the Pha Ngu Lao district of the city by turning over her tarot cards and reading palms of people in the street.

One user on website tripadvisor called 1960anne posted: “We met this nice lady in the Pham Ngu Lao area in May and I’m very sad to share, that according to media reports she has been found dead in her hotel room. Rest in peace Julia.”

Another called Chriskill_11 wrote: “I live here and knew her. She was lovely and its very sad.”

In an interview with the ex-patriate magazine AsiaLife, she said she had first learned the ways of a fortune teller at the age of eight from a friend of her adopted grandmother.

Then, in her late teens, she set off from Sussex for the far east, where she has spent most of her life.

She said of her fortune-telling skills: “I believe I’m 100 per cent accurate. I wouldn’t be doing it if I weren’t.”

While most of her clients in recent times have been Vietnamese – many have hired her to go to their homes – she has also told fortunes for Western tourists.

Local news outlets reported that after the discovery was made a crowd of people who knew the fortune teller gathered outside the small hotel where she had been staying when an ambulance came to pick up her body and carry it to the mortuary.

Police said the cause of death had yet to be ascertained.

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