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Daily Mail Online
PUBLISHED: 14:39 GMT, 15 November 2013
A soldier returned home from the front line to find the dead body of his fiancee, who had hanged herself after suffering from postnatal depression.
Linzi Mannion had told friends she was looking forward to marrying Lance Sergeant Robert Kopicki and was busily decorating their new home.
But the mother of two committed suicide the night before her fiance returned from his post in Afghanistan and he discovered her body.
They had spoken on the phone the night before and he said she seemed in good spirits.
Shocked friends who had been with the 29-year-old hours before her death on August 30 said she seemed her ‘normal, jolly self’.
An inquest yesterday heard she had been diagnosed with postnatal depression after the birth of her second daughter Nancie on April 24, and was prescribed anti-depressants.
Sgt Kopicki, 28, who serves with the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, told the hearing: ‘After the birth Linzi began to suffer from depression.
She had some anti-depressants from the GP which seemed to help her. In June she tried to harm herself but she was so upset and traumatised by that. She just couldn’t cope.’
Doctors who were monitoring the healthcare assistant had believed her condition was improving, and Sgt Kopicki didn’t suspect she was contemplating suicide.
He said: ‘We were looking forward to getting married. The house was getting decorated and I was coming home the following day. On the evening before I came home I spoke to her and we exchanged texts.
‘She phoned me at 10.30pm when she was with all her friends. There was no warning of what was to happen.
‘When I came home I found Linzi and she had died.’
On the night of her death Miss Mannion, who also had an elder daughter Maddalyn, had been decorating her home in Kearsley, near Bolton, with the help of her friend Lee Bleakley, who she had known since she was 18.
Mr Bleakley left around 9.30pm and Miss Mannion went to visit another friend and drank some wine.
Later the same night Miss Mannion rang Mr Bleakley asking him to come back round to her home to finish off the decorating before Sgt Kopicki returned the next morning.
Mr Bleakley said: ‘I said I would come round in the morning before Rob came back home to help with the decorating. She seemed all right when I spoke to her but a little bit drunk. We had been having a laugh and a joke that night and she was saying how happy she was with her kids.
‘I have known her a long time so I would know if there was something wrong. She just seemed the normal Linzi to me.’
Post-mortem examination results showed Miss Mannion was at more than twice the drink-drive limit, Bolton coroner’s court heard.
Coroner Jennifer Leeming, who recorded an open verdict into Miss Mannion’s death, said there was nothing in her behaviour which could have indicated she was planning to take her own life.
‘Clearly it was impulsive,’ she said. ‘I suspect if she could, she would say that she didn’t really mean it. Please accept my sincere sympathy for your loss.