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Woman’s body found in “nearly mummified state”

By WBCraig  |  Posted: March 05, 2014

Body found in "nearly mummified state"

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THE body of a Falmouth woman was found in a “nearly mummified state” almost two months after her death.

An inquest heard Angela Smith’s body was so badly decomposed she had to be identified by her dental records after being discovered at her home on February 7 last year.

The 49-year-old from Melville Crescent was last seen on December 16, 2012.

The inquest heard she had suffered from schizophrenia, diabetes, asthma and obesity and had made attempts to take an overdose of medication in 2006 and 2011.

Her sister, Carol Gardiner, said Ms Smith suffered from paranoia and depression.

“She would lock herself away until she was able to cope,” said Ms Gardener, adding that she was “never suicidal”.

Pathologist Juliane Stolte said she was unable to take blood for a toxicology report and could not give a cause of death.

“The body must have been there for weeks at least,” she said. “It was in a state of severe decomposition, in a nearly mummified state.”

PC Richard Kendall told the inquest he was called to the property after a neighbour reported Ms Smith had not been seen for two months.

“We had no concerns it was suspicious,” he said. “We assumed she had collapsed and died through natural causes. There was no evidence it was intentional.”

Cornwall Coroner Emma Carlyon recorded an open verdict, with an “unascertained” medical cause of death.

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