Inquest probes death at 'doof' party

A YOUNG woman whose body was found floating in a dam days after going missing at a dance party near The Channon had been happy and 'moving around the party as a free spirit', a coronial inquest into the mysterious death of Daneeka Nixon was told.

Ms Nixon, 25, of the Gold Coast, was at the 'doof' party with more than 200 other people on April 16, 2006.

Her body was found four days later in a dam on the property.

The inquest revealed it was a day and a half later before a search began, with police refusing her father permission to help look for her.

At the hearing in Lismore yesterday before Deputy State Coroner Malcolm Macpherson, Detective Senior Constable Adam Rhodes revealed police presumed her death was not suspicious, suspecting it to be caused by drugs and alcohol.

“A body in a lagoon following a doof party ... was an assumption made she had taken drugs and drowned?” lawyer Andrew Boe asked.

“Yes,” Detective Rhodes replied.

Detective Rhodes said statements from party-goers varied with regard to Ms Nixon's use of alcohol and recreational drugs, but a toxicology report later found cannabis was the only drug in her system, although some guests saw her 'roaming around the property in an apparent state of confusion'.

“How she entered the water I can't offer an opinion, except that was where she was found,” Det Rhodes said.

Mr Boe, representing the family, asked if police had considered the possibility of foul play. Det Rhodes replied yes.

He said Ms Nixon 'had words' with a man at the party, but police found no reason for anyone to harm her as she was happy, friendly and 'moved around the party as a free spirit'.

Ms Nixon's body was clad in boardshorts, bra and zip-up hoody when found.

Det Rhodes said facial injuries on the body were likely caused by marine life, like tortoises and yabbies, in the water.

Det Rhodes agreed with Mr Boe's assessment there had been no clear evidence to show the surface of the dam was looked at before the body was seen floating there days later.

The deputy coroner and legal representatives visited The Channon property yesterday.

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