THE death of school teacher Sarah Flooks is still shrouded in mystery as an open verdict was ruled at her inquest yesterday.

Her body was found concealed by dense undergrowth in Wanstead Park ten months after she went missing and evidence gathered by police found no signs of foul play or suicide.

Walthamstow Coroners Court heard how a knife found in Miss Flooks' bag at the scene had no blood on it, she had not taken an overdose of tablets, and the forensic archeologist and vegetation expert concluded there would have been no one but Miss Flooks at the spot where she is believed to have died.

It was revealed that she had expressed concern over chest pain in her diary, however her body was so decomposed the pathologist was only able to study her hair and bones, finding evidence of arthritis and no evidence of intoxication.

Recording an open verdict, coroner Elizabeth Stearns said: "There is no evidence whatsover to suggest any suicidal intention although I knew she was frustrated and anxious about the Ofsted report there is nothing to suffest she was contemplating suicide.

"There is no evidence as to any medical means where by she came to her death, the pathologist cannot give me an answer to her cause of death, but it seems highly unlikely that she inflicted injury upon herself with the knife.

"There was no blood found on the knife and anyway it was at the bottom of her bag.

"I am slightly anxious about the chest pain, did she have a heart problem which she spoke to no one about?

"It was a very cold day, had Sarah gone there to contemplate and think about things and lost consciousness?

"There is no evidence by which I could possibly return a verdict of self-harm.

"This is an unexplained death, there is no medical cause of death and as I am missing a vital link in the chain, an open verdict seems the only conclusion."

THE teacher at Monega Primary School in Manor Park never arrived at the school on March 2, 2006, although she is thought to have left her home in Wanstead Park Avenue at around 7.30am that morning.

The court heard how an Ofsted inspection had been due on the day and Miss Flooks had loaded her Ford Ka with kitchen equipment, planning to make soup with the children.

John Mouzourous, Miss Flooks' partner of 30 years, said: "I didn't really discuss the anxieties with her but she seemed more anxious, tetchier, a bit more on edge.

"She did discuss taking in the kitchen pots and pans, a blender and potato peelers, and she had loaded them into the car. I believe she was going to make soup. She was very well prepared."

She was then seen sitting in her car, parked in Northumberland Avenue, looking tense.

A witness told the court that she had noticed the car and saw a woman in the driver's seat in, "an unusual pose. Her hand looked pale and tense."

An extensive police search of the park using sniffer dogs, underwater search equipment and a helicopter with a heat sensor to detect the body, revealed nothing.

A conservationist found her remains in dense undergrowth on January 11 this year and a post-mortem could not reveal a cause of death.

When Miss Flooks was found, a sharp kitchen knife was buried at the bottom of a black satchel next to her body which, it is believed, she had taken from home to use at school that day.

A bottle of water was firmly planted and standing upright by her side, and she was lying on a pack of Nurofen with eight tablets missing.