Tia Sharp: cause of death may never be known

Tia Sharp and Stuart Hazell. Pic: police handout and Emma Jane Burgess

The cause of death of Tia Sharp may remain a mystery after additional postmortem tests proved inconclusive.

The girl’s body was found in the loft of the house her Grandmother lived in in The Lindens, New Addington, a week after she was reported missing.

Stuart Hazell, the boyfriend of Tia’s grandmother, has been charged with her murder and remains in custody. A provisional trial date has been set for January.

The family of Tia have been unable to hold a funeral for the girl as forensic tests were undertaken on the body. The tests have not been able to confirm the cause of death.

The Daily Mirror reported that Hazell’s lawyers have requested their own postmortem be carried out.

Scotland Yard said: “There are still some tests outstanding but Tia’s body has been released to the defence who are conducting their own postmortem.”

An inquest into Tia’s death was opened at South London Coroner’s court last month and was adjourned, pending the results of the postmortem.

Additional tests were required after initial investigations were hampered due to the significant decomposition of the body when it was found.

Police have been criticised for the delay in finding the Tia in the house she was last seen in and have apologised to her mother. An internal review is being undertaken and “human error” is being cited as the cause for the delay.

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