18 years to decide Kirsty Bentley’s death was not an accident


That is just too long.? Her family could have done with that judgment within a year.

Eighteen years after her body was discovered in a remote part of Mid Canterbury, the coroner has ruled the death of Kirsty Bentley was not accidental.

The Ashburton 15 year old went missing after taking her dog for a walk on New Year’s Eve 1998, and her body was found two weeks later.

Her body was found two weeks later in bushes in a remote part of the Rakaia Gorge.

A pathologist ruled she had died from a blow to the head – but no one was ever charged with her murder.

At an inquest in the Christchurch District Court today the coroner, Peter Ryan, ruled her death was not an accident and passed on his condolences to her family.

The police have officially kept the case open and at today’s inquest Inspector Greg Murton said he was currently looking over witness statements and forensic evidence.

He said police have discounted most, but not all, of those on a list of 140 people described as persons of interest.

Mr Ryan commended the police for continuing to investigate the case.

I don’t think you ever ‘close’ cases like that.? But I very much doubt any progress is being made, other than the coroner picking at the scab to announce it wasn’t an accident.

At least that clears his backlog of open cases.