Woman found dead at her home two weeks after a police search

Leamington House
Leamington House
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A WOMAN lay dead in a room at the flats where she lived for two weeks, even though police had searched the building.

Victoria Evans was last seen on April 6 after which she was reported missing by her sister and a police appeal to find her was launched.

Officers searched her flat in Leamington House in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas before Victoria was deemed a missing person.

It was only after police reviewed CCTV footage that they were able to track the 41 year-old’s movements into a communal laundry room.

Now an internal review into strategies to search for missing people has been launched.

Detective Sergeant David West said: ‘CCTV footage on April 6 showed Victoria going in to the laundry room and it was viewed by police 13 days later in the evening of April 19 when she was found.’

Officers went straight round to Leamington House and forced entry into the room which had been locked from the inside.

Police previously appealed twice in an effort to locate Victoria who was last seen at her home address in Earlsdon Street and asked members of the public to get in touch with any information.

At the time Detective Inspector Linda Howard said: ‘Victoria hasn’t been in contact with any of her family or friends since she disappeared and we’re growing increasingly concerned for her welfare.’

Some reported sightings of Victoria were investigated following the appeals but these were disregarded after her body was found.

A spokesperson from the Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘An internal review of the search strategy was undertaken and areas of improvement were identified and have been implemented.’

The review came to light at an inquest at Portsmouth Coroner’s Court, where coroner Sam Marsh recorded a narrative conclusion into Victoria’s death.

She said: ‘Victoria took her own life as she was suffering from the affects of mental illness and pro-longed drug use.’

The mother of three was suffering with mental health problems, the effects of an unresolved bereavement and had a long history of drug taking, the coroner heard.

Family and friends told how Victoria said she was going away for a while and had previously explained she felt suicidal.

A post-mortem found Victoria some levels of alcohol and a level of morphine in her blood which could have been fatal depending on a individual’s tolerance.

The coroner offered her condolences to the family as they remembered Victoria as a loving mum whose ‘children made her happy.’