Cause of student's death will remain a mystery - Coroner

The cause of Mason Pendrous' death will never be known. Photo: RNZ
The cause of Mason Pendrous' death will never be known. Photo: RNZ
The family of a Canterbury University student whose body wasn't discovered for several weeks will never know the cause of his death.

On Wednesday, Coroner Sue Johnson revealed part of her findings on Mason Pendrous' death.

He died between August 26 and September 10, but his body was not found in his room at the Sonoda Hall of Residence until September 23.

A full post-mortem examination by forensic pathologist Christopher Lawrence was not able to determine the cause of the 19-year-old's death due to the decomposition of his body, which showed and no injury or obvious cause of death.

"The delay in finding Mason’s body meant that the cause of his death is unable to be determined. His family will never know what he died of," Ms Johnson said.

She also said it was "impossible" to know when exactly Mr Pendrous died.

Dr Lawrence discovered that although Mr Pendrous' heart appeared normal, the pathologist could not exclude some form of cardiac arrhythmia.

Because of the condition of his body, it was not possible for Dr Lawrence to assess some infective causes of death, such as influenza, pneumonia, myocarditis or meningitis.

There was medicine for gastrointestinal upset in the room and Mr Pendrous' body was found close to a heater, which was on and had been turned up.

The delay in finding Mr Pendrous' body led to international media attention and has prompted a number of investigations.

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