THE death of an elderly woman, found collapsed on her bathroom floor, remains a mystery, an inquest heard.

Margaret Shepherd, 82, was found dead at her home in Osborne Grove, Halliwell, on January 22.

Bolton Coroners Court heard Mrs Shepherd, a retired printer, had been living alone for the last five years after her husband was placed in a care home.

In the days before her death, a neighbour had spotted her walking on the street outside of her home. She appeared disorientated and was “looking for her husband”, the court heard.

On January 22, two workers from a nearby Greenhalgh’s bakery, where Mrs Shepherd was a regular customer, visited her house to deliver some food.

After knocking the door and shouting her name through the letterbox, they became worried and called 999. Police forced entry and found her in a collapsed and unresponsive state in her bathroom.

Paramedics attended and Mrs Shepherd was pronounced dead at the scene.

Before the first lockdown in March 2020, Mrs Shepherd received regular visits from her son Lee every Tuesday - but these stopped as she “followed the coronavirus restrictions to the letter”, the court heard.

Donna McFadden, a bakery worker, said Mrs Shepherd, who was endearingly known as the “little old lady”, regularly came in to the bakery for sandwiches.

PC Megan Miller, who attended the scene after a report of concern for Mrs Shepherd’s welfare, said that no no suspicious circumstances.

A toxicology report revealed nothing of note, and experts were unable to say how long Mrs Shepherd had been lifeless.

Area coroner Alan Walsh, who recorded the cause of death as ‘unascertained’, said: “I am greatly saddened by the fact that she died in these circumstances. We’re unable to find the exact cause of death.”