A former pre-school teacher who battled alcohol addiction was in good spirits and looking forward to starting a new job before she went missing and tragically later died, an inquest has heard.

The body of Hannah Gibbs, a mother-of-two, was found in the water by a boat owner at Harleyford Marina in Marlow at around 4pm on November 1 last year after she went missing on October 13. She was due to start a new job on October 15.

Hannah, from Henley-on-Thames, had been seen on CCTV walking to Mill Meadows and her handbag containing her mobile phone, medication and a partially empty bottle of vodka was found on the river bank by a member of the public the next day, prompting him to call the police.

Despite an extensive search of the area and the river, Hannah’s body was not found until weeks later, when a boat owner reported seeing something in the water at Harleyford Marina.

An inquest into her death at Buckinghamshire coroner’s court in Beaconsfield on August 25 heard that the 37-year-old had struggled with alcohol addiction and depression, but there was no proof she had decided to take her own life.

Her cause of death was unascertainable as her body had been in the water for too long.

On the evening she went missing, Hannah had sent a text to a friend she knew from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) saying she was “ready to end it all”, but her mother Gay Lawless and brother Clive Gibbs said they believed her death was accidental and that she did not end her own life.

Mrs Lawless said Hannah had been a “happy and bubbly child” and had gone on to have her first child aged 17, while her second child followed a few years later.

Hannah was described as a “devoted” mother, who had trained as a teacher before working in hospitality and as a Slimming World consultant.

She had moved back to Henley to live with her mother in July 2019 after she was assaulted, which Mrs Lawless said led to Hannah not wanting to leave the house.

She then went to stay with her uncle in London for a while and had seemed to be “getting her life back together” when she returned back to Henley – “joking and laughing” and bagging herself a new job.

The evening she disappeared, Hannah had told her mum she was popping out for a couple of hours and that she loved her.

She was seen at the One Stop store on Greys Road, Henley, before making her way to Mill Meadows.

That evening, she had sent a WhatsApp message to her friend Adam Bennett from AA saying she was “done” and was “ready to end it all”.

The inquest heard Mr Bennett responded with supportive messages but Hannah never read them.

Assistant coroner for Buckinghamshire Alison McCormick said Hannah’s death remains a mystery as the reason she came to be in the river is unknown and was not witnessed by anyone.

Recording an open conclusion, Ms McCormick addressed Hannah’s ex-partner and his father who had attended the inquest and said: “That may be unsatisfactory for you and Hannah’s family but unfortunately the evidence does not enable me to come to a definitive conclusion.

“I’m sorry I cannot reach a more certain conclusion to give the family some element of closure. I’m very sorry to those who have lost Hannah in such a terrible and unexpected way. It is a real testament to how special she was that you are here today.”