Missing Norfolk woman's death not foul play, says coroner

Railway Cottages in Cantley Christine Allen's remains were found outside one of the Railway Cottages

A coroner has ruled out foul play in the death of a Norfolk woman whose body was found 16 years after she disappeared.

Christine Allen, from Marie Close, Cantley, near Great Yarmouth was 59 when she was last seen in April 1995.

Her jaw bone was discovered in a garden near the railway line in Cantley in February by a father and son.

Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said there was no evidence of any trauma or third party involvement.

Recording a narrative verdict, he also said: "There is insufficient evidence to enable a reliable conclusion to be formed as to the cause of death."

The inquest in Norwich heard that Mrs Allen was born in Banbury, Oxfordshire in 1936 and moved to Norwich as a child.

'Bubbly and jolly'

She trained as a teacher and taught religious education at West Earlham Junior School, Norwich.

At 29 she went to sea with P&O as a nursery supervisor, and on her return worked for the the YWCA and also did clerical work.

Start Quote

"We also called a dental specialist in to formally identify the jaw bone that had been found”

End Quote DC Kevin Maskell Norfolk Police

She was diagnosed with a mental health problem in 1981 and in 1991 was treated in a psychiatric hospital.

In June 1992 she married Melvin Allen, who told the inquest she had been a "bubbly and jolly" person.

The inquest was told Mrs Allen had been suffering from a schizo-affective disorder.

In the weeks before she disappeared, Mrs Allen had lost weight and was behaving oddly and aggressively, the inquest heard.

On 30 March 1995 a CT scan showed a mild cerebral atrophy.

Mrs Allen was last seen by her husband nine days later on 8 April.

Her jaw bone was discovered on 24 February this year by Simon Wright and his son Billy who were playing football outside their home in Railway Cottages, Burnt House Road, Cantley.

After the hearing, DC Kevin Maskell of Great Yarmouth CID: "We turned up at Cantley and went into the back garden to assess the scene with other officers supervising.

"We called other people to clear the area and to assess what we had there.

"We also called a dental specialist in to formally identify the jaw bone that had been found, and quite near to where the bone had been found we found the rest of Christine Allen."

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