LONDON - A nurse was found hanging in her room three days after she had been duped by a hoax call from Australian DJs about the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge, a British inquest was told Thursday. The case is being treated as an apparent suicide.
Coroner's officer Lynda Martindill said Jacintha Saldanha, 46, was discovered hanging by a scarf from a wardrobe in her nurses' quarters Friday by a colleague and a member of security staff at London's King Edward VII Hospital. Martindill said an attempt to revive Saldanha failed.
James Harman, detective chief inspector, said Saldanha also had injuries to her wrists. He told the inquest at Westminster Coroner's Court that two notes were found at the scene and another was found among Saldanha's belongings. He said there were no suspicious circumstances, meaning nobody else was involved in Saldanha's death.
Harman said police were examining the notes, interviewing the nurse's friends, family, and colleagues and looking at e-mails and phone calls to establish what led to her death. He also said detectives would contact police in the Australian state of New South Wales.
Saldanha answered the phone last week when two Australian disc jockeys called seeking information about the former Kate Middleton, who was being treated for severe morning sickness. The DJs impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, and Saldanha was tricked into transferring the call to a nurse who revealed details about the duchess' condition.
The DJs, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, apologized for the prank. The show was taken off the air and they were suspended.
In London, coroner Fiona Wilcox opened and adjourned Saldanha's inquest until March 26. In Britain, inquests are held to determine the facts whenever someone dies unexpectedly, violently, or in disputed circumstances. They do not determine criminal liability.
Saldanha's husband, Benedict Barboza, has said she will be laid to rest in her native India.