Devon

Devon schoolboy froze to death after missing bus

Daniel Chambers Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Daniel Chambers was described as a "kind, thoughtful and loving" son

A 15-year-old boy died from hypothermia in a freezing field after missing his school bus.

Daniel Chambers, from Tipton St John, Devon, went missing in extremely cold and wet conditions on 13 December.

His partially-clothed body was discovered slumped at the base of a tree near a river in the village four days later.

An inquest at Exeter's County Hall concluded his death was an accident.

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Daniel was a pupil at The Kings School, in Ottery St Mary, where he had recently sat his GCSE mock exams.

After missing the bus, he was seen by a dog walker close to the River Otter, near his home.

A police operation was launched after his mother raised the alarm at 16:30 GMT on the day he went missing.

'Paradoxical undressing'

His body was discovered on 17 December in a field near Tipton St John. Whisky was found in his rucksack and tests showed his blood alcohol level was over the legal limit for driving.

The assistant coroner Lydia Brown said the cause of death was hypothermia.

She said severe cases could lead to "paradoxical undressing", where the sufferer removes his or her clothing.

The coroner said it was "inexplicable" why he had left home but never arrived at school.

She said the teenager came from a close family, and that he had never gone missing before.

His best friend, George Salter, said Daniel was "a quiet and shy person" and that he was "cheery and smiling and his normal self" the day before his disappearance.

In a statement, Daniel's parents Jonathan and Mary said: "Our world will never be the same again.

"Daniel was all you could have asked for in a son.

"He was kind, thoughtful and caring and made us all smile with his loving nature."

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