Page last updated at 16:21 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Girl found in field 'smothered'

Ashleigh Hall
Ashleigh was found dead in a field near Sedgefield, County Durham

A teenage girl found dead in a field in County Durham was smothered, a second post-mortem has revealed.

Peter Chapman, 32, of no fixed address, is accused of killing Ashleigh Hall, 17, from Darlington, whose body was found near Sedgefield on 26 October.

Mr Chapman made no pleas to charges of manslaughter and kidnap when he appeared via video link at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday.

It is alleged he met the teenager on an internet site.

There was no application for bail at the hearing and he will next appear in court on 4 January.

Ashleigh, of Warwick Square, Darlington, was found dead in a farmer's field close to the Little Chef roundabout, off the A689 and A177 roads, near Sedgefield.

Results of the first post-mortem examination, held to establish the cause of death, were inconclusive.

A Durham police spokesman said: "Following a second post-mortem we can now reveal that Ashleigh's death was consistent with smothering."

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