SURREY, UK — A young woman committed suicide on her birthday following a disagreement on Valentine’s Day, a coroner has ruled.
Mitchel Mpofu was found dead in her room at a rented house in Guildford, aged 23.
Woking Coroner’s Court heard on Tuesday that the man described as her “on-off boyfriend”, Arnold Mukuvare, dropped to his knees when he saw her body, having helped her housemates break through the door using a fire extinguisher.
An A4 note explaining her decision to break up with him was found next to the bed, along with Valentine’s gifts she had purchased.
The consultant pathologist who carried out a post-mortem examination stated that she had suffocated.
Describing the discovery of Mpofu’s body, Diane Young, who managed the house in Cedar Way, said: “She was in bed and she looked very peaceful. What struck me was how peaceful the room looked and how flat the duvet was.
“I went to check a pulse, but as soon as I touched her it was evident she was dead.”
Evidence was heard about the often turbulent relationship between Mpofu, who was from Zimbabwe, and Mukuvare, who had been together in her room for the last time on the evening of Valentine’s Day.
Young said she had talked with her the previous day about the Valentine’s gifts she had purchased for Mukuvare and that she had appeared happy.
However, Mukuvare, a University of Surrey student, told the coroner he had not bought Mpofu a Valentine’s gift due to lack of money and that she often remarked he was unromantic due to their conversations being “too intellectual”.
The couple had broken up a week earlier, the coroner heard, but continued to meet to discuss their relationship.
Mukuvare said that in a text message shortly before her death, she had said she was “leaving” and had refused to elaborate on what she meant when he asked her.
Repayment of a loan Mpofu took out to fund her masters degree in human resources was also said to be worrying her, as were persistent gastric problems.
Confusion was created by a 999 call made by Mpofu at 12:20am yesterday, shortly after Mukuvare said he left, alleging that a domestic violence offence had occurred, the inquest heard.
She would not give police officers any further details when they arrived to check on her safety, and it is thought this was the last time anyone saw her alive.
Detective Constable Andrew Greaves of Surrey Police said CCTV footage showed Mpofu in Tesco alone on the evening of February 14.
Coroner Michael Burgess was adamant in his verdict that no-one else had been involved in her death.
“There was no way a third party could have left the premises while leaving it secured from the inside, as it was,” he said.
However, the coroner said the reasons for Mpofu’s suicide remained very unclear, but he believed distress may have been caused due to her expecting more from the relationship with Mukuvare than he did.