A 21-year-old business student whose body was found on a beach in East Sussex most likely died because of suicide or an accident, a coroner has said.
Sussex police have been accused of not fully investigating the death of Blessing Olusegun, from south London, who was found dead at Bexhill on 18 septiembre 2020.
A petition attracted thousands of signatures calling on the police force to ensure it properly investigated her death.
At a pre-inquest review hearing held in Hastings, the coroner, Alan Craze, dicho: “There are four possible causes of death: natural causes, foul play, accident and suicide.
“At the end of the day, I am probably going to find that there is insufficient evidence pointing towards natural causes or murder. This would leave two of them, suicide and accident, because that is the view the police took and it’s more likely to be an accident than a suicide.”
Craze adjourned the inquest for a full hearing to be held on a date to be fixed.
DI Pippa Nicklin, the senior investigating officer, released a statement in March defending Sussex police’s investigation.
Ella dijo: “Although there continues to be no evidence of a crime, we are still carefully and fully examining all the circumstances leading up to Blessing’s death, from her arrival in Bexhill, to her leaving the house where she was working and walking to the beach.
“It has been reported that we have not properly investigated Blessing’s death because of her ethnicity and we strongly refute these claims.”
A spokesperson for the force said Olusegun had spent a week in Bexhill working as a carer.
After the discovery of her body, officers began an investigation and Olusegun’s mother was informed of her death. The spokesperson said the investigation included a search of the area where Olusegun was found, which located her phone and slippers.
Local inquiries were also carried out, including interviews with those who had last seen or spoken with her. Officers searched her home at her work placement and carried out forensic examinations of her devices and belongings found on the beach.
CCTV was also examined, which the spokesperson said revealed she was alone at the time she entered the beach, with no evidence of others in the vicinity.
They added: “Toxicology tests and a medical examination was carried out by a pathologist who found Blessing had died from drowning; they found no evidence of violence or any internal or external injuries.
“Because there is no evidence of third-party involvement, Blessing’s death is described as ‘non suspicious’. The coroner will decide on the facts of the case and determine how, when and where Blessing died.”