A WOMAN whose body was found in Southampton Water on New Year’s Eve had been taken into police custody earlier in the day after threatening to harm herself, it has been revealed. Police have today named the woman as 57-year-old Rita Bowler who lived in Hedge End. Officers were first called to Town Quay in the early hours of the morning on Monday to reports of Ms Bowler threatening to self harm. According to Hampshire police she was subsequently detained and taken into police custody at Southampton Central police station on mental health grounds were she was then later assessed and released. A Hampshire police spokesman said she was taken, by officers, back to her home in Hobb Lane, Hedge End, later that day but apparently returned to Town Quay where her body was subsequently recovered from the water. As previously reported by the Daily Echo, the body was found at 1pm after it was spotted by crew of the Red Jet ferry near to the Southampton terminal as it returned from West Cowes. A police boat was launched to help recover the body but the 57-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. A post-mortem has yet to take place but police said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with her death and that her next of kin had been informed. Describing the death as “a tragic incident” the spokesman said that in line with national guidelines the matter had been voluntarily referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission as Ms Bowler had been in contact with the constabulary in the hours before her death. A decision on whether the matter will be formally investigated will be made by the commission in the coming weeks.
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