A post-mortem has revealed Georgia Williams died as a result of “pressure to the neck”, police confirmed today.
The teenager was probably choked to death with a ligature, police added.
A post-mortem result found she had suffered “strangulation” injuries probably caused by having a ligature wrapped around her throat.
A West Mercia police spokesman said: “The guidance being given is that she probably died as a result of strangulation injuries.
“This would be different to being ‘strangled’ which suggests someone putting their hands around her.
“It is likely a ligature of some sort was used.”
West Mercia Police also formally identified the body which was discovered in woodland near Wrexham last Friday was that of the missing 17-year-old.
Detective Superintendent Adrian McGee said: “I can now confirm that the body found in woodland off the Nant-y-Garth pass near Wrexham on Friday afternoon has been formally identified as that of 17-year-old Georgia Williams.
“Although we are not in a position to release any further details for legal reasons, and out of respect for the Williams family at this terribly sad time, I am also able to confirm that Georgia died as a result of pressure being applied to her neck.”
An inquest was opened and adjourned at Wellington Civic Centre yesterday.
Detectives yesterday renewed their appeal for members of the public to get in touch if they find the teenager’s missing personal items, including her phone, jacket and make-up bag.
Det Supt McGee added: “Although the investigation has progressed quite quickly over the past few days, there is still a lot of work for us to do.
“We are continuing to look for the missing bag, make-up bag, mobile phone and clothing that belonged to Georgia and searches are still ongoing to locate this property.
“The bag is a distinctive spotty leather satchel and her smart phone is a white Samsung Galaxy Y. The make-up bag is pink with a flowered pattern and contained various items of makeup.
“The missing coat is described as a waist-length black leather-type jacket with a stand-up collar, which she was wearing when she was last seen leaving her family’s home in Wellington at 7.30pm on Sunday evening (26 May).
“Locating these items is still extremely important to us, while we also remain keen to hear from anyone who believes they may have seen the Toyota Hiace 300 GS panel van, registration number CX06 ASV, on Monday 27 or Tuesday 28 May.
“If anyone believes they still have information that could aid our investigation I would like to ask that they share it with us as soon as they can, even if they are unsure whether the information is related to this case.”
Meanwhile, the male friend accused of murdering Georgia and dumping her body in woodland appeared via video-link from prison for his second court appearance today.
Jamie Reynolds, 22, showed little emotion during a 10-minute preliminary hearing at Stafford Crown Court.
Wearing a yellow zip-up top with a green collar, unshaven Reynolds entered no plea and was remanded in custody.
When the court clerk introduced Judge John Wait, to Reynolds – he simply nodded and said ‘you all right?’
The judge then ordered the prosecution case to be served by the end of July in anticipation of a trial this autumn.
He said: “Mr Reynolds your case has come directly to this court because your trial will be at the crown court.
“You will have heard, I hope, that we are making arrangements for a timetable so that your case will be ready for trial, I hope, in the late autumn.
“You will be seeing your legal representatives shortly and the prosecution case will be served on you by the end of July.”
When Judge Wait asked Reynolds if he understood, he smiled and said: “yeah, I can just about hear you.”
Prosecutor Peter Grieves-Smith told the court if the case goes to trial it could last up to three weeks.
It was adjourned until September 6 when a further case management hearing will take place.
Defence barrister Danny Smith made no application for bail and Reynolds was remanded in custody.
Georgia’s friends Perry Duff, 23, and Ben Hincks, 20, had intended to be at the hearing but missed the case after their bus was delayed.
Speaking outside court afterwards Perry said: “We just wanted to come out here today and show our support.
“We knew her for years, she was a well-known girl and very popular.
“We came to see the court proceedings to see how the process works.”
Reynolds stands charged with murdering red-haired Georgia in Wellington, which is a suburb of Telford, Shropshire, last Sunday.
Officers confirmed the body of a young female was found near Nant-y-Garth pass near Wrexham in North Wales on Friday afternoon by a member of the public.
It has not yet been formally identified.
Georgia, who was an RAF cadet, was last seen by her parents at 7.30pm on Sunday at their home in Wellington, Shrops.
She was reported missing on Tuesday after her parents discovered she had not stayed with any of her friends.
The next day Reynolds, who lived half-a-mile away from Georgia, was arrested at a budget hotel 280 miles away in Glasgow city centre and a grey Toyota van was recovered nearby.
Police said new evidence came to light on Thursday which proved that she had died at an address in Wellington.