It was just another ordinary Monday morning on Morecambe promenade – save for the overriding sense of shock.
As seafront shops and pubs opened up for their day’s trading, nobody could quite believe that just a few hours earlier a woman’s body had been found lying on the beach just across the road.
Thoughts turned to those of sympathy for Susan Alston’s family and unravelling the mystery of what happened during her final hours.
Susan, 51, from Lancaster, had been on a night out in Morecambe on Friday.
She was seen in the Kings Arms and later on Pedder Street at around 2am. Then she was spotted sitting on a seafront wall, opposite Clarence Street.
Susan was not seen again until a bread delivery driver, out on his early morning rounds, discovered her body on the beach near the Clock Tower at around 5.30am.
She was dressed in her underwear; her clothes - black trousers, black wedge platform shoes, a blue ‘sparkly’ top and a beige jacket - piled on the beach close by.
The passerby dialled 999 and police arrived at the scene, using windbreaks to shield Susan’s body as they combed the area. A large section of the promenade and the central beach was closed off on Saturday morning.
Provisional results from a post-mortem examinationlater revealed that Susan had drowned.
Detective Superintendent Neil Esseen, leading the investigation, said: “This has been an absolutely tragic incident for all involved.
“Following a number of enquiries, we are happy that there was no third party involvement in Susan’s death and so, although police are continuing to investigate, it is not being treated as suspicious in any way.
“We are however still trying to piece together exactly how Susan came to be in the water, so I would continue urge anyone who saw her in the early hours of Saturday morning in the area to contact us.”
Any witnesses or anybody who may have any information are asked to call police on 101.