The body of a High Wycombe woman was discovered in woodland hours after concerned drivers reported her walking in and out of the road, an inquest heard.

Mary McCarthy, 44, was spotted looking “disorientated” and walking in the road, saying she “wanted to die” on June 26 - and a member of the public called emergency services.

Officers attended just after 12.30pm and called an ambulance. An inquest heard this week that Mrs McCarthy’s claims that she wanted to die were not passed onto the attending officers – and when she refused to be taken to hospital, she was left to return home.

Later that day, at 4pm, Mrs McCarthy, who was described as a housewife who lived in The Acres, High Wycombe, called police to say she was going to take her own life.

At an inquest into her death on Wednesday morning, DC Alex Trevivian from High Wycombe police station said: “Mary said she would hang herself. She said she was sorry to the person she was talking to and that she was in some woodland.”

Police were deployed at 4.13pm and found Mrs McCarthy in a wooded area close to the service road off Middlebrook Road in High Wycombe.

Tragically, there was no way Mrs McCarthy could be saved and she was declared dead after officers arrived at around 4.55pm. 

She died as a result of hanging. 

DC Trevivian said: “She was in quite a remote area back from the public footpath. She was always going to be found eventually but it wasn’t the easiest place for officers to find. It took 40 minutes to get to her.”

Mary’s husband Michael and his brother were at home when her body was found. The inquest heard Mrs McCarthy left a voicemail on her brother-in-law’s phone saying she loved everyone at around 3pm.

A post-mortem examination found that Mrs McCarthy had Tramadol, cocaine, anti-depressant citalopram, cannabis and alcohol in her blood.

Senior coroner for Buckinghamshire Crispin Butler ruled that Mrs McCarthy’s death was suicide.

He said: “Mary phoned police stating she was having a nervous breakdown. She was upset and said would hang herself. While police were searching, they sadly found her body. She had consumed a number of substances prior to her death.

“She had expressed intentions to end her life earlier that day and just prior to her death. It leads me to conclude that she intended to end her life by carrying out this act.”

Thames Valley Police made a mandatory referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following Mrs McCarthy’s death, but an update on this was not provided at the inquest – the force has been approached for more details.

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