Search stepped up to identify woman’s body found at Eastbourne

Appeals to identify a woman found dead on Eastbourne beach have been published as far as Europe without success.

Thursday, 25th April 2019, 2:54 pm
Updated Monday, 29th April 2019, 5:23 pm
Coastguard helicopter (stock image)
Coastguard helicopter (stock image)

An inquest was held today into the death of the female, known only by her motuary number 751, who was found during efforts to recover two other bodies at Beachy Head on June 13 last year.

Despite extensive UK wide media appeals and database checks for missing people, there has been no new evidence and no one has come forward to identify her.

The court heard fingerprints and a facial reconstruction for the purposes of an appeal were not possible due to decomposition and DNA and dental records would need to be checked against a possible match.

Reopening the case, coroner Alan Craze said: “We have no idea of a name, or age, we don’t know where she was born, or at what address, or her marital status.

“There’s really very, very little to write down.”

He said a postmortem examination had shown she had injuries consistant with a fall from a great height but the body had no distinguishing marks, surgery scars or tattoos that might help identify her.

The body was 5ft 3ins (160cms) tall, of slight build, weighing around eight stone 6lbs (53 kilograms), with size 5 feet and black, shoulder-length hair.

She was wearing a white Marmot hooded jacket over a grey Bench hooded jacket and a navy blue, floral-patterned top. She was also wearing grey Adidas tracksuit bottoms, white Adidas socks and a pair of grey, size five Icepeak trainers with black soles, orange tread patterns and a white edge to the soles.

There was a five pound note in her pocket but nothing in the way of identification.

A forensic odontologist estimated her age from her teeth at around 30 to 50 years old, but could not rule out the woman being older or younger.

Coroners officer Robert Greenall said he was satisfied that inquiries were working as a suggestions of possible matches were checked against her DNA.

“The inquiry has been progressed into Interpol and they have conducted a Europe-wide search, which I understand is still in progress.

“After some time, I believe two months, that inquiry will progress globally.”

Coroner Craze said he had to record an open verdict in the absence of most information but said that should more evidence come to light, he would ask for a new inquest.