A woman at the centre of a call for her death to be reinvestigated suffered a fatal brain injury.

Debora Rastelli, 25, was found dead in a Glasgow flat just over two years ago. Scottish police and prosecutors say there were no suspicious circumstances. 

However, Ms Rastelli’s family, fearing foul play, last week formally petitioned authorities in her native Italy to re-open her case

The Herald can reveal the health care worker died of a “left frontal intercerebral haematoma”, according to her death certificate. 

Such haematomas, when blood pools in the brain, can have a variety of causes, including trauma or high blood pressure.

Ms Rastelli is understood to have been found on her bathroom floor of her flat in Murano Street, Maryhill, Glasgow,  in August 2017.

A brief local news story in the family’s north-west Italian home town about Ms Rastelli’s funeral, on August 19 that year, said she had “probably died as a result of a sudden illness”.

Ms Rastelli’s mother, Maria Angela Rastelli, severely criticised Scottish authorities for failing, as she sees it, to explain why they did not treat her daughter’s death as a crime.

According to the Italian online newspaper Corriere Quotidiano, she said: “Debora was my only daughter, a healthy girl who was careful about her lifestyle and had no health problems of any kind.

“At a distance of two years after her mysterious death, I still have 
no peace of mind over how my poor daughter could have died.”

The Scottish authorities, Mrs Rastelli added, “have not provided any official declaration about the death of my daughter aside from verbally ruling out foul play”.

Italian prosecutors must now decide whether to carry out an extra-territorial investigation into the case.

Last year, after such an investigation, an Italian court convicted two Italian men of murdering a 20-year-old Milanese called Martina Rossi.

Ms Rossi was initially recorded as dying accidentally after falling from a balcony in Mallorca. The Italian court ruled she had been trying to flee the two men, who had been trying to rape her.

Calls for an Italian investigation into a Scottish death have sparked the interest of those unhappy with the Spanish investigation of a young Scot, Kirsty Maxwell, who fell from a balcony in Benidorm.

Retired Scottish police detective David Swindle has been acting for Ms Maxwell’s family. Commenting on the Rastelli case, he  tweeted: “The Italian prosecutor’s role is very interesting, similar to Italian Martina Rossi’s case, where her family and Italian authorities unhappy with the Spanish investigation into her death successfully prosecuted Italians for homicide. Why can’t the UK do this for Kirsty Maxwell?”

Scottish authorities do not investigate deaths abroad. An English coroner can do so. But they cannot prosecute.

Ms Rastelli’s family is the latest to criticise law enforcement investigating the death of a loved one in another European Union country.

Politicians have recently raised concerns about how hard it is for grief-stricken families to deal with deaths abroad, especially getting information out of unfamiliar legal systems.

Hannah Bardell, an SNP MP  looking at ways to provide better support for relatives of people who die abroad, said: “When a family loses a loved one abroad the very least they expect is that the Foreign Office will guide and support them. 

“My all-party group on deaths abroad and consular services has taken evidence from more than 60 families from across the UK. 

“Their experiences are heartbreaking, each and every one has been let down in one way or another.

“There will always be difficulties in dealing with law enforcement in a foreign jurisdiction including language barriers and getting documents translated, which the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) could and should help with. 

“My report, due to be published shortly, will make a number of recommendations on how families can be better supported from a Scottish and UK perspective. Families are being badly let down and that cannot continue.”

A spokesman for the Crown Office declined to comment on foreign legal proceedings. 

However, he confirmed there had been an investigation in Scotland and it had been closed without action.