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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 September 2007, 09:50 GMT 10:50 UK
Death family 'let down' by police
Sally Shearing
Sally Shearing was last seen in 2003
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) says police "let down" the family of a Cornish woman who lay dead in her home for three years.

Sally Shearing's body was found in April 2006, three years after she was last seen.

Police visited her home in May 2003 but left without checking when a neighbour said she had moved to a home.

Ian Bynoe, IPCC commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, said her family should have had a "better response".

An inquest in Cornwall recorded an open verdict in the death of Ms Shearing, who was in her early 50s and from Liskeard.

'Care and humanity'

Her body was found by an intruder in April last year at a terraced house on Liskeard's Cannon Hill and she was identified by her dental records.

The inquest heard neighbours and friends contacted police in May 2003 saying she had not been seen for months.

Obviously the time we took to find Sally's body is something we can't undo now
Det Sgt Tim Wright
Officers were sent to the home but did not go in after a neighbour said Ms Shearing had been taken to a home.

When there were reports of flies in the house, officers were sent a second time but the visit was cancelled when the police log was updated with the information that she was in a home.

Speaking after the inquest verdict, Mr Bynoe said: "Her family feel upset and I think they have certainly been let down. They could and should have had a better response.

"We need to get the agencies that have the information to share it so they can handle these problems with care and humanity."

Det Sgt Tim Wright from Liskeard CID: "Obviously the time we took to find Sally's body is something we can't undo now.

"There were some opportunities lost, it's difficult to draw any conclusions on a wider basis, each case is always going to be individual.

"We'll clearly learn from these recommendations and our policies and procedures should be modified and reviewed in light of those recommendations."

Open verdict on undiscovered body
11 Sep 07 |  Cornwall
Inquiry after woman's body found
20 Apr 06 |  Cornwall
Body lay in house for three years
14 Apr 06 |  Cornwall

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