TEENAGER Gaia Pope died of hypothermia, an inquest has been told.

Tests carried out following a post mortem examination determined the cause of death, which was revealed at the opening of an inquest into the 19-year-old's death.

Gaia's body was found in undergrowth on the clifftop between Dancing Ledge and Anvil Point on November 18.

She had gone missing 11 days previously and thousands of people had been involved in searches.

Dorset coroner Rachael Griffin heard Gaia's family has concerns in relation to her death. Dorset County Council social services will be asked to provide statements, the hearing was told.

There will also be more investigation about the time and exact location of her death.

Gaia's cousin, Marienna Pope-Weidemann was at the inquest opening. Gaia's family have released a statement saying their "hearts broke all over again" when they were told the cause of her death.

It added: "It was just a few days ago that the family received confirmation that Gaia died of hypothermia and our hearts broke all over again.

"Dealing with their shock and grief, Gaia's parents, Natasha and Richard, and her sisters Clara and Maya, couldn't be here today.

"But they wanted me to thank all our loved ones, whose loyalty and support keeps us going as we try to make sense of our sudden and terrible loss.

"Every minute without Gaia feels like an hour and every hour without answers seems endless.

"We also wish to thank once again the many friends and allies who have supported us so tirelessly.

"We want to thank every coastguard, police officer and member of the public who did all they could to find Gaia.

"Without the incredible grassroots efforts of our community, perhaps we would never had found her at all.

"Each one of you made a difference and we are grateful to know that still, we can count on your support.

"Thanks also to those members of the press who have been true to Gaia's memory and who have treated our family with care and her story with respect.

"We count on your continued integrity as you tell the story of a young woman we loved beyond words and whose memory deserves dignity.

"I also want to say that far too often, young women who survive violence are denied that.

"They are dismissed or disbelieved; denied a voice and then misrepresented; they have to fight, like Gaia did, to be heard; to have their needs met and their rights respected. This part of Gaia's story, she shares with many survivors.

"But it doesn't define her. Despite everything she went through, she remained loving, joyful and brave. Here was a bright and a powerful young woman who wanted to devote her life to others.

"We will always be proud of her.

"We know now what took her from us but when, how and why are all questions that must still be answered, not just for our sake but for the sake of the next family who wakes up in that nightmare someday.

"We are hopeful that the inquest will find those answers.

"The road is long but with your support we will get justice for Gaia."

Gaia, whose full name was given as Gaia Kima Pope-Sutherland, went missing from her home on November 7 last year and her disappearance sparked a huge search.

Police, specialist search teams and hundreds of members of the local community took part in many searches of the area before her body was found near the cliff top at Swanage 11 days later.

During the search period three people had been arrested on suspicion of Gaia's murder but the day after her body was found police said there was nothing to suggest any other person had been involved in her death. No one will face any charges.

Following the discovery of her body, Gaia's family thanked all those who had helped in the search and her sister described her as "the absolute light of my life."

The inquest was adjourned until May 14 for a pre-inquest review.