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Drug mystery over body found on beach.

1. A WOMAN'S body washed up on a North Wales beach may have contained traces of the date-rape drug rohypnol.

But a Flint inquest heard scientists could not be certain.

The body of Angela Theresa Hitchmough, 39, of Everton, was discovered on Rhyl beach on January 29 this year.

The mother of three -- an alcoholic -- was last seen in her native Liverpool about two weeks before.

North East Wales coroner John Hughes said she could have slipped, jumped or been pushed into the water. There was no evidence to prove any theory. A post mortem examination could not even show how she died, said Mr Hughes, and despite an extensive police investigation there was no way of knowing where she entered the water.

Her sister Sandra Hitchmough, of West Derby, Liverpool, asked whether the fact she might have had rohypnol raised suspicion.

``No, because the evidence says it was only possible that rohypnol was present, '' said Mr Hughes.

Home Office pathologist Dr Paul Johnson said there was no sign of a heart attack, no diseased organs, and no proof she had even drowned. The cause of death was ``not ascertained''.

The inquest heard Angela Hitchmough was the eldest of three sisters. She never married but had three children, a son of 21, and two daughters aged nine and three.

In a statement, Sandra said her sister was always getting in with the wrong crowd. She said she met the father of her children, but turned to drink after suffering domestic violence.

Mr Hughes recorded an open verdict.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 20, 2004
Words:257
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