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Tributes paid to tragic Beaminster pensioner
TRIBUTES have been paid to missing pensioner Sara Taylor whose body was discovered on Saturday evening after a two-day search.
She was reported missing from her Beaminster home on Thursday. She was last seen in the Co-op in the Square where she was captured on CCTV images.
A huge search operation was mounted as husband Peter waited anxiously for news.
Police called off the search after her body was found by a member of the public just after 5pm on Saturday when she was discovered on farmland at Mapperton.
The police paid tribute to the public for its help finding 76-year-old Mrs Taylor.
Police Insp Mike Darby said: “I was very saddened to hear of Mrs Taylor’s death after she went missing in the Beaminster area late last week.
“My officers and staff here on Bridport Section, alongside search-trained colleagues, the police helicopter, dog units and numerous members of the Beaminster community all worked long and hard looking for Sara and praying she would be found safe and well. “I would like to thank all the people who took time out of their lives to lend a hand and try and help us find her.
“Without the help and support of communities coming together at times like this it makes our role very hard indeed.
“While this wasn’t the result anyone involved wanted, I am still deeply obliged to everyone who did their bit to help us find her.
“When people go missing in the manner Mrs Taylor did, the police have a very well practised response plan to help us prioritise ways of finding them.
“In addition we can call on significant specialist trained resources to help us search large areas, including helicopter air support and volunteer units like DorSar, Dorset Search and Rescue, who can be called out any time day or night to assist us in a structured search for people.
“While all these tactics were used and huge amount of resources put in to try and find her it is very sad that Mrs Taylor was not found safe and well. “I know this has significantly impacted on the Beaminster community and mine and my officer’s thoughts and condolences are naturally with Sara’s family and large network of friends from the area.
“PC Tim Poole and PCSOs Alex Bishop and Paul Miners from the Beaminster Safer Neighbourhood Team will within the next few days get to speak to her family, friends and the local community to see what more support we can offer at this difficult time.”
Tributes have been paid to a woman described as very up-beat and cheerful.
Nicky Ives, who runs The Eggcup Tearooms at Swyre with her family said the couple had been regulars for nearly eight years.
Mrs Ives said it was a terrible shock to learn of her death.
She said: “We hadn’t seen her for a little while because her husband had been poorly and he couldn’t drive.
“They used to come in every week. They would walk their dogs down the beach and then come up for breakfast. It was a regular Sunday morning thing for them.
“When Peter got poorly they used to rely on her daughter to bring them out and then it was more sporadic.
“They were just really lovely people, always smiley, always upbeat.
“It was a terrible shock.
“She told me the last time they were in she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but she seemed pretty sprightly and with-it then.”
Mrs Ives said she thought Mrs Taylor adopted her daughter from Borneo.
“I got the impression she used to travel a lot with her first husband.”
Mrs Ives’ daughter Abbi added: "We're saddened to hear this news. We'd like to send Sara's family our deepest condolences. As a treasured customer of ours she will be missed.”
Lynette Fisher from Le Vieux Four bakery in Beaminster said Mrs Taylor was a really lovely person.
She said: “She did used to come into my shop quite a lot.
“The thing that I remember most is that she was really sweet and kind.
“She was a great dog person and when my dog was attacked a few years ago she took me to the vets with the dog in her car.
“She was a really kind person.
“There were a tremendous amount of people out helping. It pulled the community together.
“All of us dog walkers were out walking more than we normally do in places where she could have fallen or slipped.
“She cared for her husband who is quite a bit older than her, in his 90s, which is probably why he didn’t realise she was getting more and more confused daily, she must have been.
“She seemed to live for her dogs. She was always out walking with them but I believe the dogs were at home this time.
“She was just a genuine person.”
An inquest has been opened and adjourned but the cause of death is unascertained, said police.