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On Sunday two boys crossing a paddock at Eyrctown camo across the dead body of a youth, who it was ascertained was Thomas Spriggs, third son of Mr James Spriggs, residing at Eyretown. Tho body was fully dressed, and lying near a track used by persons crossing tho field. There was no sign of a struggle having taken place, and both of deceased’s hands were in his pockets. Information was given to the Kaiapoi police, and Constable Cartmill, who went out, found the body had not been removed. It appears that on Friday evening deceased left his father’s house to go to Mr Thomas Chilton’s farm, where he w'as employed, and he had not been seen since. His own family were under the impression during the interval that deceased was at Mr Chilton’s, and Mr Chilton was under the idea that for some reason the youth might have remained at homo. It is said that he had frequently complained of spasms, and death might have been caused from sudden suspension of the heart’s action. Upon searching the body an ounce phial containing between a quarter and a half ounce of strychnine crystals was found. This, it was stated, had been given deceased to convey to Mr Chilton for poisoning birds or vermin. The cork was placed in the bottle flush with the top of tho glass, and it seemed as if it would require a corkscrew or some instrument to prise it out. There was no evidence by marks on the cork, or appearances of any loose crystals about, to lead one to believe it had been opened, while tho person who handed the bottle to deceased states he considers it had not been uncorked, there being a piece of white kid leather hanging from the cork by which this could be decided. Deceased was about seventeen years of ago. The inquest has been adjourned to allow of the contents of tho stomach being analysed.

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Bibliographic details

A MYSTERIOUS DEATH., Evening Star, Issue 7933, 14 June 1889

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A MYSTERIOUS DEATH. Evening Star, Issue 7933, 14 June 1889