A commercial photographer was found hanged in thick woodland in Lea Valley Park after a lengthy search, an inquest heard yesterday.

Peter Morgan, 52, of Crooked Mile in Waltham Abbey, who used to run Priceless Images wedding photography business in the town, was reported missing by his family at 2pm on Monday February 1 this year.

Police sent out search teams and his body was found shortly before 9pm near the park's boundary with Gunpowder Mill site.

It was in thick forestry and not visible from the path ten metres away.

Senior Essex coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded a verdict that Mr Morgan, who was still working as a photographer, killed himself.

His cause of death was suspension due to ligature.

Chelmsford Coroner's Court heard that Mr Morgan had left his wallet at home and inside was a receipt for the rope he used.

He had bought it while he was at work that morning.

Mrs Beasley-Murray said she was sure that Mr Morgan intended to take his own life.

“He seemed to have been upset and there were some difficulties, some turmoil at that time.

“Having regard to the method he used, that he bought the rope during the day, it does indicate a certain degree of planning,” she said.

She added that he had also gone a long way into the wood and he didn't want to be found straight away.

“We will never know what was going through his mind.

“We will never know why he did it,” she said.

Mr Morgan’s wife, Rita, told the hearing that the weekend before had been “confusing and upsetting”.

Her husband had a blank expression and looked troubled on the Monday when he left the house.

“My gut was telling me something is not right.

“It didn't look like him,” she said.

PC Greg Nadjan, giving evidence, said Mr Morgan was reported missing at 2pm.

He and a colleague searched on foot for six hours in the wooded area near Crooked Mile and all the derelict buildings on Gunpowder Mill site.

They were continuing to search by car light when a search and rescue team member reported at 8.45pm a body had been found.

After the inquest, Mr Morgan's brother Andy said: “The family would like to thank everyone who knew Peter and who has shown sympathy and care.”