AN open verdict has been given on a Flintshire grandmother whose body was never found.
An inquest into the death of 68-year-old retired shop assistant Pauline Edwards had to be sanctioned by Home Secretary Theresa May.
Mrs Edwards had been missing since she took a walk near the sea at Trefor in Gwynedd in February 2010.
She had arrived with her husband John at their second home at Trefor but after saying she was going for a walk she disappeared.
Despite a giant search involving villagers, lifeboats, coastguards, helicopters, police divers and rescue dogs, no trace has ever been found.
Yesterday’s inquest at Llangefni, Anglesey, heard a local dog walker, Jonathan Sherit, a mechanic, had seen a figure in the sea and he thought they might have been in a dry suit or wearing a hood but did not believe they were in trouble and was reassured when a surfer mentioned that it could have been someone acclimatising for a swim.
Asked by the coroner whether he had any concern for the person in the water he replied: “No.”
Deputy coroner Nicola Jones said they would never know whether the person was Mrs Edwards. A villager who had met her in the street had said Mrs Edwards was not upset and had greeted him warmly and the coroner was entirely satisfied these were not the actions of someone setting out to harm themselves.
Both the coroner and Mr Edwards paid tribute to all those who had joined in the search. The coroner said an open verdict was the only one possible. “It leaves many more questions than answers,” she said.
In evidence Mr Edwards, a retired civil servant, said: “We’d been married 47 years and this year would have been our golden wedding anniversary.”