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Mother’s cause of death still a mystery after body found in France

Daughters Distress: Corby: Jeanette Rooney and her sister Anne-Marie Rooney. The body of their r mum Agnes Rooney was found in woodland near Rouen, France on October 11 last year and they have been unable to bring her home for a funeral.
Tuesday 4th March 2014 NNL-140403-130732001

Daughters Distress: Corby: Jeanette Rooney and her sister Anne-Marie Rooney. The body of their r mum Agnes Rooney was found in woodland near Rouen, France on October 11 last year and they have been unable to bring her home for a funeral. Tuesday 4th March 2014 NNL-140403-130732001

A woman is desperately seeking answers from the authorities almost six months after her mother was found dead in France.

Jeanette Rooney, 35, of Wheatfield Close, Ketton, was devastated to learn of her mother’s death last year.

The body of Agnes Rooney, 64, from Corby, was found in a field near Rouen on October 11. But Jeanette is no closer to finding out what happened to her mother.

She said: “I still have no idea how my mum died six months down the line. I’ve no idea what investigations are going on.”

Mrs Rooney had been on holiday in Bulgaria with her brother since July but was supposed to be returning home at the end of the summer.

She often went away for long periods of time. But Jeanette did not hear from her mother for weeks and began to grow worried. In September, and after failing to get hold of her mother or uncle, she called the police.

A body was discovered in France and Jeanette confirmed jewellery found on it had belonged to her mother. But it took the French authorities nine weeks to identify Mrs Rooney. Jeanette was then told she could repatriate her mother, but discovered from British police that some of the organs had been kept by the French coroner.

Jeanette had no idea whether a criminal investigation was underway, with seemingly no way of finding out. She has since endured weeks of frustration while her mother’s death remains a mystery.

Jeanette, a youth worker for Rutland County Council, said: “For the nine weeks that they hadn’t identified my mother, the authorities were quite happy that there was no foul play. They weren’t even going to do an autopsy.

“When I found out her organs weren’t in her body it was quite a shock.”

Jeanette has had little contact from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and has been unable to get details from the French authorities. She is now trying to find the money to hire a French lawyer and become a party to the case in order to get a look at the documents.

Jeanette is disappointed with the lack of information she has been given. She said: “I understand that their hands are tied but for me to have to ring the Foreign Office and ask if I can bring her home...they should be telling me but they are not.”

She added: “I have to pay for people to interpret and translate for me.

“I get no financial help. I’m a single parent with three children and my mum had no insurance.”

Jeanette said the situation was especially hard on her children Jack, 16, Emily, eight, and Gracie, two. She added: “My two eldest are devastated. Emily was at my mum’s house constantly.

“She speaks about her every day. How can you explain to them what’s going on? What do you say to an eight-year-old child? Mum helped me bring them up. She was there daily with them.”

We contacted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for a statement. A spokesman said: “We can confirm the death of a British national reported missing on September 26.

“We are providing consular assistance to the family at this difficult time and are in contact with the local authorities.”

The same comment was also given to our sister paper the Northamptonshire Telegraph in December.

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said: “We are continuing to provide support to Mrs Rooney’s daughter working through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office while the French investigation continues.

“We are not able to get actively involved in the investigation or processes of the French authorities but will continue to offer support while that work continues.”

 

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