TIM FROHWEIN INQUEST: 'We loved him deeply and we always shall'

Tim Frohwein. Picture kindly submitted by family.

Tim Frohwein. Picture kindly submitted by family.

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The wife of Timothy Frohwein - a top-ranking Derbyshire police officer who was found dead in the Peak District - has paid tribute to her husband at the conclusion of his inquest.

Derbyshire's senior coroner Dr Robert Hunter today concluded that Mr Frohwein died as a result of misadventure - after a possible 'cry for help'.

The 48-year-old's body was discovered on the Grouse Moor area of the Goyt Valley on Saturday, November 23, 2013. He died from hypothermia.

Mr Frohwein, who was Chesterfield’s Chief Inspector, had been reported missing from his Buxton home six days previously.

This afternoon, at the end of a week-long inquest at Chesterfield coroners' court, Mr Frohwein's wife Susan Frohwein, who is known as Lesley, said: "Tim was a source of strength, companionship and comfort to myself and our three sons.

"We loved him deeply and we always shall."

Giving evidence last week, Mrs Frohwein told how her husband was 'very unhappy' at work. She said in the 30 years she had known him he had never been so upset and cried for 15 minutes the day he disappeared. Read more: http://www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk/news/tim-frohwein-inquest-derbyshire-police-chief-inspector-was-very-unhappy-at-work-1-8264797
Dr Hunter last week said he would be 'precluded from considering or returning a conclusion of suicide' in light of the cause of Mr Frohwein's death and that it would be 'irrelevant to this inquest' to discuss his state of mind.

Summing up this afternoon, Dr Hunter said: "What was Mr Frohwein's intention (when he left home and went to the Goyt Valley)?

"He had a number of issues with work and his family life.

"Was he expecting to be rescued? Was it a cry for help?

"What he couldn't plan for was the weather.

"There were freezing temperatures during several night from Sunday onwards.

"Is it possible he became disorientated and lost and because of the fog decided to bunker down and wait to be rescued, knowing a search party would be deployed?

"I'm convinced he didn't have an intention to take his own life.

"The most appropriate conclusion is one of misadventure."

Last week, Mr Frohwein's family raised concerns about the police search for him. Read more: http://www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk/news/tim-frohwein-inquest-son-blasts-police-search-for-derbyshire-chief-inspector-1-8265591
This afternoon, Dr Hunter said: "The police investigation and search strategy was thorough, comprehensive, proactive and reactive.

"Within a few hours of Mr Frohwein being reported missing, police had deployed police personnel, a helicopter, 90 mountain rescue personnel, air scenting dogs and a tracker dog.

"In the days that followed, new areas were searched and other areas were re-searched."

Dr Hunter said Mr Frohwein's body was found 'by chance' during a community search organised by his eldest son.

He added: "Communication from the family liaison officer s to the family could have been better.

"It may be, given how distraught the family were, they weren't taking information in."

Family statement

In a statement issued after the inquest, Mr Frohwein's family said: "Tim left behind a loving family of Lesley and their three sons.

"It has taken three years from Tim's death for the inquest process to reach its conclusion - a lengthy period that has been painful and difficult for the Frohwein family.

"Although a search operation was launched on the day that Tim disappeared, it was unsuccessful.

"The family felt that the information passed to them by the police during the search operation was vague and uncertain and was only palliative in tone.

"Tim's eldest son, Sam, organised a search by family, friends and members of the local community. It was only after this had begun that Tim was found.

"The family feels that it is absolutely right that a conclusion of suicide was not considered or returned by the senior coroner.

"There are many reasons why Tim would not have intended to end his life, of which the coroner heard some.

"When he went missing it was only a few days from his youngest son's birthday and our overriding sense is that he would never have wanted to miss that.

"With some unanswered questions about Tim's state of mind, the family is disappointed that the decision was made not to consider Tim's state of mind as part of the inquest process - particularly in connection with the unhappiness that he felt at work in the time leading up to his death.

"The family has no further comment to make at this time and strongly request that their privacy be respected."

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