Alex Todd-Weller inquest: Coroner returns open verdict

The death of a popular musician remains unresolved, after a coroner recorded an open verdict into the case of Alex Todd-Weller on Friday.

21-year-old Alex died in September when his body was found in Furzton Lake, days after he had been reported missing following a night out at Pink Punters nightclub.

But coroner Tom Osborne told the inquest that there was insufficient evidence to record any other verdict.

The inquest heard how Alex had been on a night out on Sunday, September 7, leaving in the early hours of the morning.

However when he failed to return home or to report to work on Monday his family reported him as missing.

Detective Inspector Ian Jarvis, from CID at Milton Keynes Police, told the inquest that the missing person’s report was initially treated as medium risk before being upgraded, and the subsequent search involved family and friends as well as the emergency services.

Alex’s family pressed him on a 999 call which was made when someone reported a young man, matching Alex’s description, who was slumped on the ground outside the Topps Tiles store at Bletchley. The police did not attend the scene.

Det Insp Jarvis said he was aware of an ongoing investigation into the family’s concerns.

Although the court heard statements from several people who had seen someone walking home, the coroner was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that this person was Alex.

Both statements told of a man in a black ‘hoodie’ top, which matched the clothes Alex was wearing when he left Pink Punters.

One lady passed him on her cycle close to Furzton, and told how the man had smiled and appeared friendly. Another man told how he and his friends had passed a man lying down at the side of the road. They pulled over to check he was alright, but although the man appeared intoxicated he had given them a thumbs up and said he was “Okay”.

Forensic pathologist Dr Olaf Biedrzycki told the inquest that Alex’s blood alcohol levels were below the drink-driving limit, and his body showed no signs of violence or a struggle.

Coroner Mr Osborne said: “It’s very difficult for me, as a coroner, to reach a conclusion.

“It’s very rare for me to return an open verdict, but the reason I am doing so is that there’s insufficient evidence for me to reach any other conclusion.

“I can’t, on the balance of probabilities, say that it was an accident. I can’t say that it was deliberate on Alex’s part.

“To return any other conclusion would be me guessing, and that would be inappropriate to the family and disrespectful to Alex.”