Trial following death of Egle Vengaliene is discontinued

A trial due to take place following the death of a woman in a Brandon park last year has been discontinued.

Police were called by the ambulance service shortly before 7am on Friday 9th April 2021, following reports that the body of a woman had been found in a pond at Brandon Country Park.

The deceased was later identified as Egle Vengaliene, aged 35, of Bury Road, Brandon.

Andrius Vengalis, 46, also from Brandon, was arrested in connection with the incident on the afternoon of Friday 9 April and after being questioned by detectives, was subsequently charged with murder on Monday 12th April.

At Ipswich Crown Court today, Thursday 6th January, the Crown Prosecution Service made a submission for the case be discontinued as there was insufficient evidence to proceed and a not guilty verdict was recorded by Judge Martyn Levett.

The court heard a Royal Mail parcel delivery driver saw Ms Vengaliene walking into the woods at Brandon Country Park at 3.30am.

Judge Levett said: “She walked in and then out again without attracting any attention. 

“It was dark and she didn’t have a torch to light her way. She didn’t ask for help, she was wearing a striped t-shirt but there was nothing about her demeanour which would have caused concern except for the time of day.

“Prudently the lorry driver turned back to check on her welfare, but she couldn’t be found. 

“There was no sound, no light, and no noise of any scream or rustling when the lorry driver searched for her.”

Two hours later, at 5.15am, care workers at Brandon Park nursing home overlooking the lake, saw Ms Vengaliene tap on the window.

Judge Levett added: “She wasn’t injured, she was smiling, she waved, but she looked cold and damp. 

“She mouthed the words ‘Help me’ but due to Covid restrictions she was not allowed refuge in the home.”

Care workers from the home saw her again at 5.45am and spoke to her, but she declined help.

Staff then decided to call the police who searched the area and couldn’t find her.

A member of the public was walking around the lake at 7am the same day when he heard screams, possibly from a man.

Judge Levett continued: “He saw in the distance a male pumping up and down in the water.

“His account was made more clear later and indicated that from what he could see was a man performing CPR on a lady in the water.

“He later said that he thought that the defendant was pulling the woman out of the water and doing CPR compressions. Her death was certified at 7.42am.”

Judge Levett said a first post mortem examination was unable to identify the cause of death but a pathologist later said Ms Vengaliene had drowned.

He added: “This early opinion formed the basis of the prosecution’s case which was therefore presented as Mr Vangelis as the defendant, was seen trying to submerge and drown his wife.

“The eyewitness account of the member of the public neutralised that allegation to suggest an alternative proposition that the defendant was pulling his wife out of the lake and performing CPR on her chest when thigh deep in water.

“There were alternative scenarios: either, Mr Vangelis was acting unlawfully by throttling and submerging his wife causing her death by drowning or Mr Vangelis was acting as the Good Samaritan, rescuing and attempting to save his wife’s life.”

The inquiry will remain open pending any new information coming to light, but a file will now be passed to the coroner for inquest proceedings to take place.

Anyone with information about Egle’s death is asked to contact the Major Investigation Team by calling 101 and quoting reference: 17570/21.

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