Injured cyclist freezes to death in graveyard after police fail to find her

A woman who fell off her bicycle froze to death in a cemetery after a police search came within metres of saving her.

A dog walker discovered the body of Jacqueline Parsons in a Hull cemetery at 9.30am on Sunday, October 28.

Despite begging a passer-by for help after she fell from her bike on Saturday evening, the 53 year-old was left injured and in the cold when a police search of the area failed to find her.

It is believed Ms Parsons found shelter under a nearby tree by using her bike as a crutch, the Hull Daily Mail reported.

Her family have been left distraught by a post-mortem into her death which confirmed she died of hypothermia.

Police officers at Western Cemetery in Hull following the death of Jacqueline Parsons

Ms Parsons’ brother Rob, who lives in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, said: “It is bad enough to find out that I had lost a sister, and after hearing that you just hope that there was no pain.

“Then we found out that that not only was she in pain but she was on her own too.

“She was a very nice girl and she should have been on holiday now.

“She was due to go away last Wednesday with her sister and her family but instead she was on a slab in the mortuary.

“She was such a nice girl and such a young girl too. She had all of her life in front of her.”

Had it not been for the passer-by who contacted the family, Mr Parsons would not have known that police had attended Western Cemetery on Saturday.

The 70-year-old said: “It was on Tuesday evening that I got this new information that actually the passer-by had seen my sister in distress.

“She was complaining about her leg and whether she broke it or not I don’t know. But she was in a lot of pain and she was shouting for help.

“The passer-by asked her if she wanted him to call ambulance and she said ‘no I want help.’ He left her there and went home and the way I’ve heard it is that it was an hour and a half before he called the police.

“The police went there, found nothing and then went away so this was a complete shock to us.”

Police officers were present at Western Cemetery in Hull

Mr Parsons said the passer-by who initially saw his sister has been left “absolutely distraught” by her death and has taken flowers to the place she was found last Sunday.

He says he does not blame him for Ms Parsons’ death but he is confused by the police’s decision to omit crucial details of the call-out they received to the same spot on Saturday night.

Mr Parsons said: “It’s a difficult thing for him that he has got to take forward with him and I wouldn’t like to be in his position.

“However, the surprise for me was the police because after looking at their statement there was no mention that they had got called out the previous evening.

“There was a woman on a bike in distress on Saturday evening and then lo and behold on Sunday morning there was a woman dead lying in the cemetery alongside her bike.

“It is just absolutely awful and the whole family is in complete shock at the moment.”

Humberside Police have confirmed that it received a call at around 4.50pm that a woman was in distress in Western Cemetery.

Western Cemetery in Hull

Two police officers were deployed to search the area but left after being unable to find her. Ms Parsons’ body was then found following the morning.

The force will now be investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), who will examine how police responded to the initial call.

A spokesman for Humberside Police said: “A post mortem has since been carried out and the woman’s death is not being treated as suspicious.

“We are linking the two calls together. We are now acting on behalf of HM Coroner to gather evidence on their behalf.

“We want to offer our condolences to the woman’s family at this difficult time.

“We referred this to the IOPC as is standard procedure. This has been passed back to our Professional Standards Department who will conduct a full assessment and investigation.”

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