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Death by Sofa: British Backpacker Found Dead in Between Sofas at Voctorian Hostel


A young British backpacker, Kristina Rennell, was killed after she got stuck between two sofas at a hostel in Australia in June 2015, an inquest in the UK was told on Tuesday. The 21-year-old woman had set off with a friend in the beginning of 2015 and was in Australia for just two weeks after journeying through south-east Asia for six months.

Rennell was found dead at the Sunset Backpackers in Mildura two-and-a-half week after she arrived in Australia, where she started working on a farm.

The 9 News reported that the inquest, held in Reading in the UK, was unable to find a proper cause of Rennell’s death. Death by alcohol intoxication, suffocation and inhalation of vomit were all dismissed as possible causes.

The court heard that Melissa Newby, a friend of Rennell, found her lying unconscious in a convoluted position in between sofas.

“Her head was kind of stuck between the two sofas,” the Metro quoted her as saying. “Her body was folded up with her legs up against the wall. Her head looked like it was stuck. It looked like she was jumping around and got stuck.”

Rennell was discovered by a fellow backpacker who informed the emergency services. The paramedics tried to revive her by performing CPR but she later died at a hospital on June 19.

A CCTV footage, acquired from the Sunset Backpackers, showed Rennell walking around and jumping a little while before her death. It was found that Rennell, who hails from Penn in Buckinghamshire, was on beta-blockers and suffered from palpitations.

However, no cardiac problem was detected in her. A pathologist dismissed the possibility of postural asphyxiation, which means suffocation resulting from a certain position that a person is in, and also noted that though she had been drinking, it was not enough to have caused her death.

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