A WIDOW whose disappearance sparked a police search was discovered drowned in the River Tone in Taunton by her niece, an inquest in Taunton has heard today, Wednesday, October 28.

Winifred Vickery – known as Beryl – had talked to her niece, Josie West, about taking her own life in the river, telling her that Goodland Gardens would be “an ideal location”.

When Mrs Vickery, 79, of Cheddon Road, Taunton, went missing, her son, Michael, contacted his cousin Josie, the hearing was told.

Josie and her friends went to Goodland Gardens and followed the river to Priory Bridge, where they discovered her aunt’s body near the car park.

The inquest earlier heard that Mrs Vickery, who was widowed several years ago, had suffered depression following a stroke 18 months before her death on February 27.

Michael said his mother was “a strong, very determined character who coped very well on her own” and enjoyed playing bingo and skittles.

The inquest was told that she had a history of depression and had spoken of wanting to die.

Tony Williams, senior coroner for Somerset, recorded a conclusion that Mrs Vickery took her own life, with the cause of death drowning.

*If you have been affected by this story, contact the Samaritans at 16 Wood Street, Taunton, or call 01823-288998.