Imogen Evans was found dead at the home she shared with her partner Michael Stokes
An expectant father has revealed his heartbreak after he learned that his pregnant girlfriend who was battling bulimia had killed herself.
Fitness enthusiast Imogen Evans was found dead at the home she shared with her partner Michael Stokes, after telling him she was working from home that day.
Imogen, 28, who had represented Wales in both netball and rowing, was six weeks pregnant at the time of her death and had recently given Michael the happy news that they were expecting a child.
Michael, 38, and Imogen were also planning to buy a house together before police officers arrived at his office to give him the devastating news that his girlfriend had taken her own life.
Speaking to Wales Online, Michael told of the agonising reminders of his relationship with Imogen, including a memory book she once gifted him.
Michael said that he is unable to look at Imogen’s present, which is full of pictures documenting their relationship and dried flowers she had kept from bouquets he had bought her.
The coroner said that in her diaries Imogen spoke of suicidal thoughts while detailing her struggles with bulimia, anxiety and depression
He recalled Imogen buying him the thoughtful memory book last Christmas, which she continued to fill throughout the year.
Memories can come at any time for Michael, who said he is only able to function when he distracts himself, such as when he looked at his phone and received a ‘memory’ from Facebook telling him he had been ‘friends’ with Imogen for a year.
The couple met just over a year ago through dating app Tinder and Michael said that their relationship progressed rapidly, moving in together after just six weeks.
Imogen, 28, who had represented Wales in both netball and rowing, was six weeks pregnant at the time of her death
Michael, 38, and Imogen were also planning to buy a house together before police officers arrived at his office to give him the devastating news
They had matched a couple of times on the app over the years, and on the third time Michael cheekily requested that meant they should chat.
Three days after they had matched Imogen offered Michael her spare ticket to a Wales v New Zealand rugby game and had an ‘unbelievable’ first date.
Following that first date they never spent more than two days apart and Imogen moved to Hirwaun in south Wales to be with Michael.
Michael said that he is unable to look at Imogen’s present, which is full of pictures documenting their relationship
Michael, who works in sales, said that he knew Imogen had suffered from anxiety, depression and bulimia as she had been open about her mental health from the beginning.
She confided in him that she had a breakdown while at work and had to have time off to recover, but was still struggling with bulimia.
On the day of her death, Imogen stayed at home when she would usually park and ride to work with Michael
Michael added that Imogen particularly suffered when she was on her own, she didn’t like her own company and would panic.
He said that reflecting on everything that may be why everything moved to quickly between the pair because she didn’t like being by herself.
Imogen thought of Michael as her balloon, during a therapy session she was told that she would cling to someone and they would be her ‘balloon’ and keep her afloat, he said.
Diaries Imogen wrote were discovered in the days following her death and mentioned during the coroners statement at her inquest.
The coroner said that in her diaries Imogen spoke of suicidal thoughts while detailing her struggles with bulimia, anxiety and depression.
Michael said that when he confronted Imogen about her suicidal thoughts she told him she would never consider it but found it comforting to know that when she died the pain would vanish.
He continued that he was convinced by what his partner had said and had no reason to think that she would take her own life.
Michael said: ‘We were buying a house, she was pregnant – I never would have thought for a second [her death] was anything that would have occurred.’
Imogen’s baby scan was due just two weeks after she died.
He recalled Imogen walking out of the bathroom with a shocked expression on her face, before pulling out a positive pregnancy test and telling him the good news.
The inquest heard Miss Evans was a ‘fanatic about her fitness’ had represented Great Britain at the European Universities Rowing Championships
She hadn’t been taking any contraception and was desperate for a baby with Michael, but he said he was still surprised at how quickly it happened.
On the day of her death, Imogen stayed at home when she would usually park and ride to work with Michael.
Throughout the day they exchanged messages where Imogen told Michael she missed him, but he became concerned when she stopped replying.
After he bean to worry Michael text her around 20 times including a message which read: ‘Can you please tell me that you’re not lying in a heap on the floor?’
Michael said that when he confronted Imogen about her suicidal thoughts she told him she would never consider it
Later that day the police arrived at Michael’s office to tell him that Imogen’s mother Susan Evan’s had discovered her body after she received a text telling her she was going to remove herself from the face of the earth.
When he found out Michael vomited and felt completely numb, and ever since he has just been trying to grieve.
Michael said: ‘She was the nicest, kindest person you’ve ever met. And it wasn’t just me – it was when she spoke to anybody.
A pathology report carried out by Dr Stephen Leadbeatter gave Imogen’s medical cause of death as pressure on the neck.
Coroner Andrew Barkley accepted this cause of death when he concluded the inquest and recorded a conclusion of suicide.
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