Open verdict at inquest into death of Hatfield woman

A CORONER has ruled the death of a woman found dead in woodland in Brookmans Park will remain a mystery.

An inquest on June 2 heard Janet Read, of Walsingham Close, Hatfield, was discovered by a cyclist in Bradmore Lane on June 29 last year.

The “bright and bubbly” 57-year-old was found fully clothed lying on her back with an empty bottle of wine and some pills [medication for her high blood pressure and high cholesterol] near her.

She had been missing since June 4.

The inquest, at Hatfield Coroner’s Court, was told that Janet had incurred some debt on her Barclaycard – taken away from her shortly before she disappeared.


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Dr Nathaniel Cary, who carried out a post mortem, said he could not decide if Janet Read had taken her own life or died of natural causes.

He said: “Due to the high levels of decomposition it is very difficult to know how many tablets she may or may not have taken or how much of the substance she may have drank.

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“It could have been a natural cause death.

“It is very difficult for me to give a particular cause of death [however] there was no third party involved.”

Coroner Edward Thomas agreed, especially in the absence of a suicide note.

“If she really intended to kill herself she seems the type of person to have left a note.

“It is clear to me she was under some stress which can have an effect on your health.

“I don’t know what caused her death; an overdose, blood pressure?”

Mr Thomas recorded an open verdict, unascertained because of decomposition.

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