A 61-year-old woman found dead in the River Roding yesterday is thought to have taken her own life.

It is believed the woman, whose body was recovered yesterday morning by a specialist marine unit, went into the river near Chigwell Road, Woodford Green, two miles away from where her body was found near Ilford Golf Course.

Passers-by spotted the body yesterday morning, shortly after 9am.

Police had been notified by a health worker that the woman was missing and there was concern for her welfare after her husband had recently become estranged.

The specialist marine unit were called when high-water levels prevented officers from being able to safely enter the water.

Detective Superintendent Ellie O’Connor said: “The body had not been in the water long but it was important that we ensured the safety of our officers.

“It is sad when someone decides to take their own life. There was a great need for sensitivity around this.

“We had to ensure that both area of the river, where she was believed to enter it and where her body was found were treated as crime scenes, which caused a lot of anxiety among residents.”

A post-mortem examination and formal identification are due to take place tomorrow afternoon and police believe there was no-one else involved.

The woman’s family have been informed.