UEA broad death: Husband discovered lake body was wife

Nomeda Pundziene
Image caption Police want to hear from anyone with information about Nomeda Pundziene

A man discovered his wife had died after a police appeal to identify a mystery body found in a university lake, an inquest heard.

Nomeda Pundziene, of Gertrude Road, Norwich, was found dead in the broad on the UEA campus, on 1 August.

The condition of her body meant police could not identify the 43-year-old for more than a week.

Zydrunas Pundzys told the hearing he recognised his wife's dress in an appeal on the police website.

Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake, sitting at Norwich Coroner's Court, recorded a narrative verdict, saying the Lithuanian national drowned in unknown circumstances but there was nothing suspicious about her death.

'Happy and content'

She said: "We do not know what happened in the days before her death or how she came to end up in the lake."

After the discovery, detectives released a picture of a floral dress she had been wearing at the time of her death.

A friend who had been scouring the internet for missing persons' reports following Ms Pundziene's disappearance on 20 July, made the connection and contacted her family.

Speaking through a translator, Mr Pundzys said his wife had alcohol problems and had previously gone missing for several days.

Image caption Police issued a picture of Nomeda Pundziene's dress

"When she wasn't drinking, she was a wonderful, super person," he explained.

"When I last saw her she seemed very happy and content.

"She had not been drinking for two to four weeks before she left.

"She just said she was going for a walk."

CCTV studied

When she failed to return, Mr Pundzys became concerned for her safety and after seven days "felt that she would not return", the court heard.

"I told my son: 'I don't think you've got a mum any more'," he added.

Pathologist Ben Swift said in a statement, that Mrs Pundziene would have been in the water for at least 24 hours but could have been there for longer.

Alcohol levels in her body were three times to legal drink drive limit.

Det Sgt Dave Freeman said officers had examined footage from 300 CCTV cameras on the UEA campus and spoken to possible witnesses.

"[But] we don't know where she'd been or who she was with from the moment she left home up until the point the entered the lake," he added.

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