Argentina nurse's cocaine-induced death ruled 'unexplained'

Media caption,
Laura Hill's mother Alison said the coroner delivered a strong narrative verdict

The death of a British dental nurse in Argentina from a cocaine overdose was "suspicious and unexplained", a coroner has ruled.

The body of Laura Hill, 25, from Eastbourne, Sussex, was discovered in Buenos Aires in October 2007.

Her family remain convinced she had not mistakenly overdosed, but was murdered by a drugs gang.

Coroner Alan Craze recorded a narrative verdict, saying it was not possible to prove it was an unlawful killing.

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Laura Hill was found dead in a block of flats in Buenos Aires in 2007

The inquest was told she had been threatened by an international drug smuggling gang and feared for her life.

A convicted drug dealer, Jason Bowley, told the inquest last week how she had been working for the Argentine gang but a deal went badly wrong.

Ms Hill's body was found by a resident near a lift on the first floor of a six-storey block of flats.

Police bribed

Tests indicated she had a high level of cocaine in her blood and would have suffered a "rapid death".

East Sussex coroner Mr Craze concluded Ms Hill may have been injected against her will but there simply was not enough evidence to prove it.

He said he believed Argentine police had been bribed, and he described their investigation as "hopeless".

If fresh evidence pointing to a different conclusion emerged he would reopen the inquest, he said.

After the hearing, Ms Hill's mother Alison said it was a "strong" narrative verdict.

"He makes it very plain we were right to be suspicious about Laura's death from the very beginning," she said.

"These last few days have proved there was a lot of uncovered information", she added.

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