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Foul play 'unlikely' in death of missing woman found in Staffordshire field

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Foul play seems 'unlikely' in the death of a missing woman found in a Staffordshire field, an inquest has been told.

Amanda Hawkins disappeared from her assisted accommodation complex in Moxley, Walsall on May 30 this year.

Police embarked on a large-scale search for Miss Hawkins, while her family made emotional appeals for the public's help in tracing her. Her body was discovered on an embankment in a field off Meerash Lane, Hammerwich, Staffordshire, on July 22.

An inquest held at Cannock Coroners Court yesterday heard Miss Hawkins, who suffered from serious mental ill health issues, had been reported missing to the police on six previous occasions.

On all those occasions the 44-year-old had been found within 24 hours, either in Lichfield, Stafford or had returned back to her home.

Detective Inspector Andy Maxfield from Staffordshire Police told the hearing: "We received a call about 6.20pm on July 22. Two gentleman were shooting pigeons on the land with the consent of the owners.

"The crop on the field had just been cut down. One of the lads discovered her body. We were called and it was declared as a crime scene."

He went on to tell the hearing: "It was a strange location. It was difficult to get to. There were no defensive injuries on her body. Her clothes were there as well as her handbag. There was no sign of any trauma.

"We were quite confident there was no third party involvement."

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The inquest heard how Miss Hawkins' family had placed a tracking device on her mobile so if she ever went missing they could track her down. A post mortem carried out on her body proved inconclusive. The inquest heard how police treated Miss Hawkins as a medium risk missing person, but that was escalated to high risk after some discussions with mental health professionals.

The hearing was also told that hospital appointments were missed by Miss Hawkins and never followed up by medical staff.

Mrs Margaret Jones, assistant deputy coroner, recorded an open conclusion:"The cause of death is un-ascertained. I can't rule out foul play, but it seems unlikely."

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