Blessing Olusegun: Police provide more details on investigation into young woman’s death in Bexhill
Detectives investigating the tragic death of a 21-year-old woman on Bexhill beach have provided more details about the inquiries made to explore the circumstances leading up to her body being found on a beach.
Blessing Olusegun was found lying on the beach near Galley Hill at 6.20am on Friday, September 18, hours after going out for a walk.
The 21-year-old business student from South London, who had been on a week-long work placement in Bexhill where she was working as a carer, went for a walk to Bexhill beach in the early hours of September 18.
According to her family, her last message was sent to her family friend at 1.25am on September 18, almost five hours before her body was found.
Her body was identified that morning as that of Blessing and her next of kin, her mother, was visited and informed by Metropolitan Police officers later the same day.
Sussex Police detectives attended the scene and, with no immediate evidence of a crime, the coroner was notified and a police investigation launched.
This week, police confirmed the investigation remains ongoing. Police said officers have carried out detailed enquiries to explore the circumstances leading up to Blessing’s death.
On Tuesday (March 16), police provided more information on these inquiries, which included a search of the area where Blessing was found: this located her phone and slippers piled ‘neatly’ 300 metres away on the beach.
Police said they made enquiries in the local neighbourhood to identify any potential witnesses, and interviewed people who last saw or spoke with Blessing, including family and friends.
Officers searched Blessing’s room at her work placement in Bexhill and belongings found on the beach, and sent them off for forensic tests. A police spokesman said a forensic examination of her devices and a detailed review of her phone records is ongoing.
Police retrieved and reviewed CCTV from the local area which showed Blessing walking to and entering the beach at around 1.30am, according to police. She was alone and no evidence of others being in the vicinity was captured on the CCTV footage.
Toxicology tests and a medical examination was carried out by a pathologist who found Blessing had died from drowning. They found no evidence of violence or any internal or external injuries, police added.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Because there is no evidence of third party involvement, Blessing’s death is described as ‘non suspicious’. The Coroner will decide on the facts of the case and determine how, when and where Blessing died.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Blessing Olusegun, a much-loved and popular 21-year-old woman and business student from South London.”
Blessing’s close friend and work colleague Christiana Sofolabo described the 21-year-old as ‘beautiful, gorgeous, talented and independent’.
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Pippa Nicklin said: “I have spoken with Blessing’s mother and explained we remain absolutely committed to finding out the facts of what happened to Blessing. This is a very distressing time for her and we are keen to do everything we can so that hopefully she may gain some closure over the death of her much-loved daughter.
“Although there continues to be no evidence of a crime we are still carefully and fully examining all the circumstances leading up to Blessing’s death, from her arrival in Bexhill, to her leaving the house where she was working and walking to the beach.
“It has been reported that we have not properly investigated Blessing’s death because of her ethnicity and we strongly refute these claims.”
Police said all evidence collated will be submitted to the coroner, who will set a date for an inquest in due course.