THE family of a vulnerable teenager who died on a cliff top have raised questions as to why progress with the inquest into her death has stalled.

Gaia Pope-Sutherland, 19, went missing from her home in Langton Matravers last November 7.

Her body was discovered in undergrowth on November 18.

A pre-inquest review was due to take place this week. However, it was postponed pending the results of an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which will not now be concluded prior to February 2019.

As a result, the pre-inquest review is not due to take place until March next year.

In a statement, Miss Pope-Sutherland's family said: “We are disappointed to have lost this opportunity to appear in the coroner’s court, for the first time with legal representation.

“Almost an entire year has passed since Gaia’s death and we have still not been given this opportunity. Nor has any significant information been disclosed to us about what happened to Gaia and why.

“Without answers, we live in limbo. It is simply impossible to move forwards while we remain in the dark like this.

“However, we appreciate the work the IOPC are doing to investigate the actions of Dorset Police.

“We dearly hope that the extension of these investigations means that the investigation is being given the attention and resources it needs to bring justice for Gaia.”

The IOPC began an inquiry into Dorset Police’s handling of the case back in April.

The watchdog then launched a second investigation into the police response to an allegation of rape made by the teenager in December 2015 following a referral from Miss Pope-Sutherland's family.

An inquest opening hearing into her death heard that she died of hypothermia and that there were no suspicious circumstances or signs of third party involvement.