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Mother, 26, froze to death in a flooded field after climbing over her garden fence and drinking

A young mother was found frozen to death in a flooded field the day after she vanished after visiting a shop to buy drinks.

Hedwig Taaru, 26, had a three-year-old son when she died on March 7 after going missing overnight, the opening of an inquest into her death heard today.

The 26-year-old’s sister told local media she had spoken to Ms Taaru just 24 hours before her body was found in the field which was submerged in icy waters from flooded over the banks of the River Thames.

Heidi Connor, senior coroner for Berkshire, revealed during a hearing at Reading Coroner’s Court that a post mortem examination of the young woman’s body found she had died from hypothermia while experiencing alcohol intoxication.

Mrs Connor said: “Bearing in mind these are preliminary circumstances which may be reviewed, this lady has visited a shop at 8.30pm in the evening.

“She was found in a flooded field the following morning by a member of the public, near Purley-on-Thames, Berkshire. Unfortunately her death was declared.

“I would like to express my condolences to her family and friends at this time.”

The inquest was adjourned for a date to be scheduled in the future but it was not yet known how Ms Taaru had reached the field.

Katarina Taaru, her sister who also lived in Reading, said that the family did not know whether Hedwig had committed suicide, saying: “She was found in the field after she had walked for a distance and would have had to climb over a fence from her house to get to the field.

“If she took her own life or fell in the water then I would understand and have some closure, but we don’t know what the cause is and have to wait to find out.

“She was lovely, kind and she was everything to me. She did have depression and she said how she was on some strong tablets.

“Mental health issues are a big thing, people are not taking this very seriously. People appear okay but deep down they are not okay. It is a very tricky situation and she is gone, she will never come back.

“I was only speaking to her the night before her death and I couldn’t tell she was depressed or anything. She had been depressed for a long time though and she was on medication but in my eyes she was okay.”

Ms Taaru had fallen pregnant with her son, Isaiah, while she was studying at university for a law degree, her sister said, and she then changed her university course. 

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