A WOMAN found dead in the River Aire near Skipton after being missing for several days had been extremely anxious about an impending planned trip to Australia, an inquest heard.

Carol Latham, 63, who was being treated for both anxiety and depression, and who had a long standing history of mental health difficulties, was discovered in the river by a walker out looking for wildlife on the riverside footpath between Skipton and Cononley at just before 11am on January 25.

Mrs Latham had been missing for ten days when she was found the inquest in Skipton heard on Monday. A police appeal at the time for any sightings had described her as being a ‘high risk’ missing person.

Mrs Latham had drowned but it was impossible to say how long she had been in the river, which had been fast flowing at the time, because of snow melt, while the nights had been very cold.

Mrs Latham, whose body had become snagged on tree branches, was removed from the river by volunteers from the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association (UWFRA) using a dingy.

Det Sgt Christopher Ridgeway told the inquest Mrs Latham had been a high risk missing person and that there had been no evidence of third party involvement. There was nothing suspicious about her death, and the clothes she was found in, had been what she was wearing when she had gone missing.

Consultant psychiatrist Jane Clarke told the inquest that Mrs Latham had been anxious but focused and determined on making a trip to Australia at the end of January with her husband, Jim.

She had prescribed anti depressants and a programme of care, including on her return from Australia, and Mrs Latham had been due to start taking the anti-depressants, following medical checks, on the day she went missing.

Ms Clarke said Mr and Mrs Latham had previously lived in Australia and also in France before returning to live in Skipton in 2016. Mrs Latham had been in the care of mental health services in both Australia and France, including having spells in hospital.

Mrs Latham had cancelled two earlier plans to Australia because of her extreme anxiety, said Ms Clarke, and with the benefit of hindsight, she may have been looking for an excuse not to go.

Coroner, Rob Turnbull said the trip to Australia was something that Mrs Latham had clearly not wanted to undertake. He said there had been no sightings of her between January 15 and January 25 and that it was tempting to think she had deliberately put herself into the river in order to take her own life, but in the absence of any notes, he could not rule out the possibility she may have fallen into the river, and recorded an open conclusion.