Florence Waters (pictured) died after she went to a field to meditate
A columnist died of hypothermia aged 33 after she went to a field to meditate, her inquest heard today.
Police found the body of Florence Waters in a farm ditch three days after her disappearance triggered a county-wide search of Oxfordshire.
Mental health deterioration in the days leading up to her death caused officers to classify her as high risk when she vanished.
The writer, who contributed to the Telegraph, was found in an exposed area of Weavers Branch in Thame.
An inquest into her death heard this morning that Ms Waters had travelled to a field to meditate.
She disappeared on November 19 and officers found her on November 22 after a farmer spotted her canvas bag.
Ms Waters also worked as an artist and had works for sale on the Saatchi and Saatchi website and was formerly the Telegraph’s Online Arts Editor.
Her body was found at 7.26pm, Oxford Coroner’s Court heard and paramedics who attended the scene confirmed her death at 9.26pm.
The identity of the body was confirmed by her mother to a specialist bereavement officer the following day.
Ms Waters (pictured) vanished in November, sparking a county-wide search
Changes in her behaviour combined with her disappearance had alarmed Ms Waters’ friends and family.
Before the inquest was adjourned in December, a coroner heard that there were no signs of substance abuse or suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.
Senior coroner Darren Salter told the inquest when it opened: ‘This lady was found on November 22 and details match a 33-year-old person reported missing on the evening of November 19, who had last been seen earlier that day. Her family had recently become concerned about her behaviour.
‘Thames Valley Police conducted a number of inquiries with friends and family and, on the morning of November 21, classed her as a high risk missing person as there was no proof of life for 48 hours.
‘They received a call on November 22 from a farmer and landowner on the outskirts of Thame after he found a canvas shopping bag in the middle of a field,’ said the coroner.
‘Police began a search of the area and at 7:26pm located a body in a field ditch believed to be Florence… police are content there were no suspicious circumstances.’
Referring to a statement from the pathologist, Mr Salter told hearing: ‘The cause of death is consistent with hypothermia but there ongoing tests such as toxicology to see if there are any relevant findings – for example, drugs or alcohol.
‘There is no evidence of this but it is standard for tests to be made in these circumstances. There is no evidence of any assault, or similar,’ he added.