Missing Spalding woman Carol Smalley drowned, says coroner

Carol Smalley
Carol Smalley
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A woman reported missing and whose body was found on the seashore at a Suffolk nature reserve had drowned, an inquest has heard.

The body of Carol Smalley (54) was discovered near the RSPB reserve at Minsmere on January 9.

Previously a search involving police, coastguards and volunteers had taken place in an attempt to locate her after it was believed she might be in the Great Yarmouth area.

Today (Monday) an inquest into her death was formally opened at Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich.

Assistant Suffolk Coroner Dr Daniel Sharpstone said Carol Smalley had been reported missing by her sister from her home in Medlock Crescent, Spalding in January 3.

Concerns had been expressed about her safety because she was suffering from depression.

Dr Sharpstone said notes written by Carol Smalley had been found and items in her bag which was found on the beach at Hopton had helped to identify her.

She was declared dead at Minsmere and a post mortem examination showed that death had been due to drowning.

Dr Sharpstone formally opened the inquest and then adjourned the hearing to allow the completion of enquiries.