Arts writer, 33, was found frozen to death in ditch

Arts writer, 33, was found frozen to death in ditch

December 6, 2018

Arts writer, 33, was found frozen to death in ditch after farmer discovered her shopping bag in a field when she had been missing for days

  • Florence Waters’ body was discovered in a farm ditch known as Weavers Branch 
  • Oxford Coroners’ Court heard the freelance arts journalist died of hypothermia 
  • Florence, a contributor for the Daily Telegraph, had been missing for three days

A freelance arts journalist froze to death in a farm ditch after being missing for three an inquest heard.  

Florence Waters’ body was discovered in an open area known as Weavers Branch in Thame, Oxfordshire after a farmer found her canvas bag in a field.  

Florence, a contributor for the Daily Telegraph, died from hypothermia, Oxford Coroners’ Court heard. 

A freelance arts journalist for the Daily Telegraph froze to death in a farm ditch after going missing for several days, an inquest heard.

Police had deemed Florence, of Oxford, at high risk after her disappearance.

The inquest heard that Florence’s family had become increasingly concerned for her wellbeing after noticing changes in her behaviour before she was reported missing on November 19.

After police launched an exhaustive county-wide search and appeal for the missing journalist, the farmer informed them about the discovery of the bag.

After a making a search of the area, police discovered Miss Waters’ body lying in a ditch, Mr Salter told the inquest at Oxford Coroner’s Court.

The discovery was made at 7.26pm on Thursday November 22, three days after her disappearance.

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Paramedics who attended the scene confirmed her death at 9.26pm.

 Her identity was confirmed by her mother to a specialist bereavement officer the following day.

The inquest was told in a statement by a pathologist who carried out a post mortem examination on Florence’s body, that the cause of death was consistent with hypothermia and that there were no signs of suspicious circumstances or substance abuse.

Florence was a regular freelance contributor to the arts pages of the Telegraph and also worked as an artist, who had her work for sale on the Saatchi and Saatchi website.

Florence Waters’ body was discovered in an open area known as Weavers Branch in Thame, Oxfordshire after a farmer found an abandoned canvas bag in a field. Florence, a contributor for the Daily Telegraph, died from hypothermia

Senior coroner Darren Salter told the inquest: ‘This lady was found on November 22 and details match a 33-year-old person reported missing on the evening of November 19, who had last been seen earlier that day. Her family had recently become concerned about her behaviour.

‘Thames Valley Police conducted a number of inquiries with friends and family and, on the morning of November 21, classed her as a high risk missing person as there was no proof of life for 48 hours.

‘They received a call on November 22 from a farmer and landowner on the outskirts of Thame after he found a canvas shopping bag in the middle of a field,’ said the coroner.

‘Police began a search of the area and at 7:26pm located a body in a field ditch believed to be Florence… police are content there were no suspicious circumstances.’

Referring to a statement from the pathologist, Mr Salter told hearing: ‘The cause of death is consistent with hypothermia but there ongoing tests such as toxicology to see if there are any relevant findings – for example, drugs or alcohol.

‘There is no evidence of this but it is standard for tests to be made in these circumstances. There is no evidence of any assault, or similar,’ he added.

Florence had never gone missing before, police said as they appealed for details.

She was previously the Daily Telegraph’s Online Arts Editor.

It is understood that she had been living with a man in a terraced home owned by her parents in an upmarket part of Oxford.

Ms Waters has written for the Daily Telegraph under her own name, saying on her social media profile that she has been an arts correspondent since 2012. 

The proceedings were adjourned for a full inquest to begin next May.    

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