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North Wales Daily Post
00:00, 21 Apr 2004
By North Wales Daily Post
A MOTHER who claimed she had seen a vision of her dead parents in the middle of the night was found drowned in a Sandbach canal hours later.
Linda Carter, 49, of Ettiley Avenue, told her husband Eric she saw the apparition in the early hours of November 5.
A short time later she was seen running naked in a nearby road by a female postal worker, before being found floating in the Trent and Mersey Canal, an inquest in Crewe heard.
Forklift truck driver Mr Carter, who was sleeping downstairs that evening due to a rib injury, said: ‘She came downstairs screaming, saying she had seen her mum and dad, but they are dead. It was about 2am. I told her not to be silly and sent her back to bed. I thought she must have been hallucinating.’
Postal worker Carol Laurie, who lives in Ettiley Heath, wept as she told the hearing: ‘I left for work at around 4.50am. I was driving down Elton Road.
‘In my lights I saw a figure. At first I thought it was a shadow but then she jumped out in front of my car, waving her arms. I was very frightened and drove around her. I phoned my friend at work and told him to phone the police.’
Mrs Carter’s body was found shortly after 7am by Sandbach woman Beverley Astbury while she was walking her dog.
The inquest was told Mrs Carter had suffered from depression since a miscarriage in 1986. She was prescribed with strong anti-depressants and had turned to drinking heavily.
The day before her death she went on a shopping trip with her daughters Gemma and Kelly.
Gemma, of Stoke-on-Trent, said: ‘Mum seemed jittery and said she had taken more tablets than she should have done the previous day.’
Miss Carter then described how she received a phone call from her mum at 2.20am the next day. She said: ‘Mum said she had seen her mum and dad at the end of her bed. She seemed really hyper. She spooked me and I told her I would see her the next day. She wasn’t upset, she actually seemed excited.’
Dr Christopher Johnson, who conducted an autopsy, reported ‘no overtly suspicious injuries which would suggest foul play.’
A toxicology report found that Mrs Carter had not been drinking but had a large amount of anti-depressants in her system.
DC Janet Pattinson said: ‘I don’t believe there was any third party involved in the death. There were no suspicious circumstances.’
In recording an open verdict, Cheshire coroner Nicholas Rheinberg ruled out the involvement of a third party, but said: ‘Unfortunately this is one of those cases in which the evidence does not sufficiently disclose how Mrs Carter met her death.’