MYSTERY surrounds how a Southampton pensioner was found dead in a Hampshire river.

Winchester Coroner’s Court heard how Keith Sawyer’s body was discovered close to the Itchen Bridge.

As reported, the 67-year-old from Chestnut Lodge in Burgess Road went missing on November 2, which sparked a huge police search.

He was last seen in London on November 3, after he was seen catching a train from Winchester Train Station to London.

In the days before his death the inquest heard how he had become “agitated” over an issue relating to his will.

The inquest heard how he had become a widower after his wife of 27 years, Helen, died in February 2014 and had struggled to come to terms with her death.

However he found love again with Angela Renault, who had lived with him since June 2015, and they were due to have an engagement party on November 7.

Ms Renault said he became upset over an issue relating to his will, and said he feared his widow’s family would put the deeds in their name.

Angela Renault told the inquest: “He was agitated by the fact he was being taken to court, his widow’s family wanted their name on the deeds and he was very upset, there had been lots of problems in the past and he was concerned about it.”

She told the hearing she last saw him on November 2 when he told her there had been an issue at the solicitors and the will was not where it was supposed to be.

A statement by Mr Sawyer’s friend, David Miles was read out.

Mr Miles: “He was looking forward to his new life with Angela and looking forward to selling the flat and getting rid of his widow’s family for once and for all.”

At the inquest itself, members of Mr Sawyer’s family and his widow’s family were separated and security guards stood outside the council chambers, they were also led away separately.

The Daily Echo were told afterwards how there had been “problems” prior to the hearing.

A report from Dr Abdoulline stated he had suffered from psychotic depression and had episodes in the past, but the inquest was told in the months before his death he had been “stable” and was taking anti-psychotic medication.

Giving evidence pathologist Dr Vipul Foria, who examined Mr Sawyer’s body, said the immediate cause of death was immersion into water.

He also noted Mr Sawyer suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage, which he said is likely to be caused by a trauma, but it was not known what caused this and no external injuries were discovered in the post mortem.

He ruled out that Mr Sawyer jumped into the water from a height and said his injuries would have been more severe.

Giving evidence Detective Constable Sheila Mason, who investigated Mr Sawyer’s death, said it was not treated as suspicious.

Senior coroner Grahame Short recorded an open verdict and said it was likely Mr Sawyer suffered a psychotic episode days before his death.

Mr Short said: ”Mr Sawyer died as a result of immersion in water and also suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage according to Dr Foria,”

“I cannot explain how this happened, and it is regrettable, but I will have to record this as an open conclusion. I am afraid it remains a mystery what happened before he was found.”