A WOMAN who died suddenly in her Hampshire home was reportedly eaten by her own dogs after lying undiscovered "for a few days".
The "horrifying" scene was only discovered when a concerned friend went to check on 61-year-old Noelle Baynham and entered the house through an unlocked back door.
An inquest at Winchester Coroner's Court was unable to determine Ms Baynham's cause of death, in part because the starving dogs had eaten some of her vital organs.
The two dogs, a Jack Russell and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, were put down at the instruction of police, according to a local news report in the Southern Daily Echo.
Coroner Grahame Short said the damage done to Ms Baynham's remains by her pets was "a major hindrance" to the post mortem, but blood tests found a range of drugs including potentially toxic levels of painkillers.
Recording an open verdict, he nonetheless said there was no sign Ms Baynham had taken a deliberate overdose or suffered an accidental fall, adding that she may have had a stroke.
Speaking to the newspaper after the inquest, Ms Baynham's brother Simon said Noelle would be "much missed".