Table of Contents
A beloved Derbyshire woman froze to death while meditating naked in the rain, an inquest has heard.
Mum-of-two Rikki Johnson was found lying on the ground in a field near a school in the county by dog walkers on December 27, last year.
An inquest into her death at Chesterfield Coroners’ Court on Thursday, July 29, heard that the 50-year-old had a fascination with spiritual meditation and astrology.
The court was told that Ms Johnson, who was previously known as Mandy Conway, used this as a coping mechanism for dealing with her mental health issues.
The inquest heard she had also sought help from medical professionals for this in the past, although a post-mortem indicated she had not been taking her prescribed medication when she died.
Her body was found on fields near to Glossopdale Community College, in Newshaw Lane, Hadfield, Glossop, the morning after she was last seen alive.
The inquest heard that Ms Johnson had developed a keen interest in numerology and police investigating her “very tragic and sad death” found videos on her devices talking about the benefits of meditating in the rain.
Detective Constable Toby Jones, of Derbyshire police, told the inquest that Ms Johnson was found completely naked, with her clothes laid out in a straight line nearby.
He said family members told the police Ms Johnson had become “anxious” in the days leading up to her death, and that on one occasion she was heard screaming.
He said there were no signs of trauma or suspicious circumstances surrounding her death.
DC Jones added “in the lead up to her death she did not indicate she was struggling in life” and that she had told people before she would never take her own life.
“It’s likely she had gone here to meditate or do some other outdoor activity,” he said.
“It’s believed she succumbed to the cold, wet conditions.”
The coroner, Sarah Huntbach, said Ms Johnson had developed an interest in the conjunction – the aligning of the planets Jupiter and Saturn – which took place days before her death, as well as the number 27.
“She had had some childhood trauma,” she said.
“She had developed her way of dealing with what life had thrown at her. She sought help for her mental health. She developed an interest in spiritual meditation.”
Ms Huntbach said she thought Ms Johnson had misjudged the weather conditions, which were particularly cold on the night she went out.
A post-mortem gave her medical cause of death as hypothermia, with cannabis use and non-compliance with prescribed medication listed as significant contributory factors.
Ms Huntbach returned a conclusion of death by misadventure.
“I would like to offer my condolences,” she said.
“Her two children who have suffered a huge loss with the death of their mother.”
To read all the biggest and best stories first sign up to read our newsletters here