RELATIVES of a couple who were found dead during a Kenyan holiday may never know how they met their brutal death.

Five years one, it is still not known how Norman Joel, 70, and his wife Rita, 67, came to die at their holiday home in Mombassa.

A documentary inquest into their deaths, held in Essex, recorded an open verdict.

When their semi-naked bodies were found dumped 20 miles inland from their house in the coastal city in October 2009, police thought they had been murdered.

However, three men, charged with their murder, were acquitted in May.

The couple, of Norfolk Avenue, Leigh, both suffered from minor disabilities.

They were thought to have been stabbed, but Essex coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said post-mortem examination evidence had been inconclusive.

It is understood some of their wounds were consistent with an animal attack, but forensic evidence from Kenya was not sufficient to confirm how they came to their death.

Sam Paice, 50, who lived near the couple for about nine years, said: “When it happened, it was like, ‘oh my goodness’.

“I remember I came home and saw all the reporters outside, talking about them. I went upstairs and found it on the news and it was so shocking.

“They were a lovely couple, they would help anyone and everyone.”