FAMILY and friends of an Oxford musician face another four months in limbo as they await answers about her death.

An inquest for 78-year-old Maja O'Brien was due to take place at Oxford Coroner's Court this week, but it has been pushed back due to an ongoing police investigation and a delay in completing a toxicology report.

The flautist and retired psychotherapist was found dead in Hinksey Stream on April 22, almost four weeks after she went missing from her home in Wytham Street, South Oxford.

Her family has raised questions about potential 'foul play' but police are not treating her death as suspicious.

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At a pre-inquest review at the same court on Wednesday, Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said: "Her disappearance was so sudden that police thought she had potentially fallen into the river.

"The updated position from the police is that a full police file has not been collated, because there is ongoing investigation, particularly in relation to toxicology."

He explained how toxicology reports have been 'delayed nationally' for 'various reasons', adding: "That's part of the reason here, albeit that we are several months down the line.

"The toxicology is needed before the post-mortem can be done, so no cause of death has been provided yet.

"There is also some work to be done in relation to a bone expert."

Addressing the coroner, Dr O'Brien's husband Terence O'Brien explained that police have enlisted an expert as a small bone in his late wife's neck 'may or may not indicate strangulation.'

Mr O'Brien, who attended the hearing alongside their daughter Petra and her daughter, added: "We all have our own hypotheses [about what happened].

"I would like to see any new information that comes up. We are sitting here in a vacuum."

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He said the police 'might come up with no physical evidence of foul play' but there were certain aspects of the case that did not make sense, including where her possessions were found.

Thames Valley Police has confirmed that Dr O'Brien's death is still being treated as 'unexplained but not suspicious.'

A spokesperson said: "We are investigating on behalf of the coroner.

"It is normal in unexplained deaths to seek advice from specialists, who can be based across the country.

"As a result of this, we are still awaiting a report from a specialist before the cause of death can be concluded.

"Therefore, the inquest has been delayed."

Mr Salter said Croatian-born Dr O'Brien was due to play at a concert on March 28, but was not at home when her friend picked her up.

Her inquest was opened at the same court on May 9.

The coroner said initial expert analysis referenced hyperinflation of Dr O'Brien's lungs that 'may be indicative of drowning', but that this had not yet been confirmed by a forensic pathologist.

He said the inquest will be delayed until the New Year and perhaps February, unless the remaining reports are completed sooner.