A police investigation was launched after two rings were found to be missing from a woman who died after being found with major head injuries.
But the inquiries drew a blank, and how Peta Baxter incurred the injuries also remained a mystery after an inquest on Friday.
Recording an open conclusion Nicola Jones, assistant coroner for North Wales East and Central, said: “We don’t have any evidence as to how the injuries came about and there are more questions than answers.”
The inquest into the death of the 64-year-old widow began several weeks ago but was adjourned after members of her family had voiced concern about the missing rings, and at today’s resumed hearing Mrs Jones said North Wales Police and Staffordshire Police carried out investigations.
“No evidence was found which would lead to any charge or any further investigation,” he said.
Mrs Baxter, a former buyer for the beauty products manufacturer Estee Lauder, lived alone at Maerdy, near Corwen, and was instrumental in establishing the Rhug organic farm shop.
In a statement read at the hearing in Ruthin her sister, Stephanie Kent-Nye, described her as a private, loyal character who loved the countryside. In recent months, however, she had become increasingly forgetful.
In August last year Mrs Baxter’s cleaner became concerned at having been unable to contact her for two days and so contacted Mrs Kent-Nye, who went to the house and found her sister lying on the bedroom floor. She was conscious but had severe head and facial injuries.
“Her face was unrecognisable,” she said.
Mrs Baxter was taken straight to the Royal Stoke Hospital where she was found to have a fractured skull and brain injury, and she died on August 24.
Mrs Kent-Nye said that her sister always wore four rings, one of which was found on the floor alongside her. Another was cut off while she was in hospital but the other two were missing.
“We’re not concerned about the value but I’m sure she would not have wanted to part with those rings,” she said.
Referring to her sister’s head injuries and how they were caused, Mrs Kent-Nye commented: “My first instinct was that this is not right.
“We wanted to clarify if someone had been there. It is strange.”
Mrs Jones said there was no evidence as to how the injuries were caused and nothing to show that Mrs Baxter had dragged herself to the spot where she was found.
She said it was “crying out for an open conclusion”, but stressed that the case could be reopened if further evidence came to light.
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