Police chief death a 'cry for help' which went wrong

Ch Insp Tim Frohwein Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Ch Insp Tim Frohwein was found with pills and alcohol but died of hypothermia

The death of a senior police officer was a "cry for help" which went wrong, a coroner has concluded

Ch Insp Tim Frohwein, 48, went missing from his home in Buxton, Derbyshire, on November 2013 and his body was found in countryside nearby a week later.

An inquest heard he was stressed by work and found with pills and alcohol, but his cause of death was hypothermia.

Coroner Dr Robert Hunter recorded a verdict of misadventure, ruling he was caught out by fog and cold weather.

Giving evidence at Chesterfield Coroners Court last week, his wife Lesley said her husband had been "absolutely dreading" an upcoming work meeting.

"He was very sad, more sad than I had ever seen him," she said.

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption When Ch Insp Tim Frohwein's disappeared, temperatures in the Goyt Valley, where he was found, were below freezing

Dr Hunter noted the weather was below freezing when Mr Frohwein went missing and fog hampered the search.

He said: "Was he expecting to be rescued? Was it a cry for help?

"What he couldn't plan for was the weather."

In a statement, the family agreed with the view Mr Frohwein did not mean to kill himself as it was almost his youngest son's birthday and "our overriding sense is that he would never have wanted to miss that".

But they also criticised the inquest for not taking a broader look at his state of mind - and particularly his working life.

Dr Hunter said as he had ruled out suicide, there was no need to look further into this.

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