‘I think we will never know’ - grieving son speaks after pensioner mum Nancy Ryan is found in River Roding

A grieving son believes he may never know what happened to his mum after she was found in the River Roding yesterday.

Police told the family of Nancy Ryan, 70, of Gaynes Hill Road, that her body had been found in the river, near the Redbridge roundabout, yesterday afternoon.

Mrs Ryan, a mother of three and grandmother of seven, had been missing since Tuesday afternoon.

Officers were called to the scene at 1.25pm and a post-mortem is due to take place today.

She had last been seen at 9pm on Tuesday when her husband, Michael, 77, believed she had left the house to visit a friend.


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Her son, Michael, 43, of Chelmsford Road, South Woodford, said today: “These stories only end up one way 99 per cent of the time.

“We were expecting the worst, that’s all I can really say.

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“I’m being honest, I think it’s one of them we will never know.

“Someone said ‘do you think she committed suicide?’ and I said, she was working until six or eight weeks ago.

“She was just a normal kind of person.

“She’s not someone who was in debt.

“Someone said you can take comfort that she’s at peace and her troubles are over, but if you spoke to people at her work, she wasn’t troubled, that wasn’t the case.

“She wasn’t some sort of troubled soul.”

Friends and family handed out posters of the mother of three and grandmother of seven in South Woodford and surrounding areas last week.

They had also been checking on local bus routes and with bus garages.

Mrs Ryan had difficulty sleeping on Monday night and had visited the doctors with Michael’s wife on Tuesday where she was prescribed sleeping tablets.

Michael said the tablets may have reacted badly with her blood pressure medication or she could have taken a wrong turn and stumbled into the river.

She had retired a couple of months ago from a job at Woodlands Day Nursery and Preschool in High Road, Woodford Green, where she worked for 10 years.

Michael said: “Most people hate their job, she loved being around kids.”

He also praised the response neighbours and strangers had provided to the family’s search.

He said: “That’s the only thing that came out of this.

“When you have to knock on doors, you wouldn’t believe people are genuinely decent and concerned and trying to feel your pain as much as they can and will do anything for you.

“People from any race, any religion.

“It’s heartwarming. It’s kept us going every day to go out with posters and no-one said you can’t put that up, you can’t do this.”

Officers are not treating the death as suspicious.

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