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Teesside prostitute's death remains a mystery
A POST-MORTEM examination has been unable to establish the cause of death of a young prostitute whose body was found ten years after she went missing, an inquest heard.
Rachel Wilson’s remains were discovered by a farmer’s son carrying out drainage work on a farm on the outskirts of Middlesbrough in June.
The 19-year-old was last seen alive at 2.30am on May 31, 2002, when CCTV images showed her walking along Southfield Road, in Middlesbrough town centre.
Yesterday, Teesside Coroners Court heard how DNA samples from a tooth were cross referenced with a DNA sample from her mother, Tina Wilson, to confirm the identity of the skeletal remains.
Pathologist Jennifer Bolton was unable to establish a cause of death, but ruled out blunt force trauma because there was no impact damage to any of the bones.
She said: “The full skeleton was not recovered, while there was no evidence of any clothing, suggesting third party involvement in how Rachel Wilson came to be naked and in a ditch.
“There were no injuries to suggest any blunt force injuries to the head.”
In a statement read out in court, Alistair Jopling, the farmer’s son who discovered the teenager’s remains, told how he discovered two long bones that he assumed were livestock before uncovering a human skull while he was working on drainage works on Newham Hall Farm estate, near Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough.
A murder investigation was launched following the discovery of the remains, but no one has been arrested in connection with the death.
Teesside Coroner Michael Sheffield recorded an open verdict.
The teenager’s funeral will be held on Thursday, at 11.30am, in St Bede’s Chapel, at the crematorium in Acklam Road, Middlesbrough.
Speaking after the hearing, the head of Cleveland Police’s murder investigation team, Superintendent Peter McPhillips, said: “Cleveland Police made several appeals following the discovery of Rachel’s remains. In response to these appeals, we received several calls offering further information.
“We are currently following up these leads and reviewing the original inquiry to look for links to Newham Hall Farm.”