A three-year-old was found surviving on bread and butter for up to four days after her mother took her own life, an inquest has heard.
Mother-of-two Aimee Louise Evans, from Port Talbot, was found dead at her home address in Dalton Road on Saturday, 7 April.
The inquest heard that when police arrived at the property they found the 28-year-old hanged in a bedroom.
PC Clive Morris, of South Wales Police, told the inquest in Swansea that Evans’ three-year-old daughter was also in the house and was looking scruffy.
Mr Morris said: “I became increasingly aware of the three-year-old’s well-being – the child had been there for three to four days and she was unkempt.
“She was taken to hospital to be checked by a paediatrician.”
PC Morris said police believed the little girl survived by eating loaves of bread and some butter.
Evans’ son was staying with his natural father in the Bridgend area at the time. Evans had sent a text to her mum, Julie Evans, on Wednesday, April 4, asking her to collect her daughter because she was “ending it”, to which Julie Evans replied by saying “do not be daft” and asking her daughter what the matter was.
That was the last time the two of them spoke, PC Morris added, with her mother repeatedly trying to make contact with her daughter over the following days, including visiting the property, but getting no reply.
He said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Evans’ death, adding that she had no history of mental health problems.
Her mother said Aimee was a happy, outgoing individual that showed no signs of depression.
She said her children were always well cared for and that they were always clean, tidy, and well looked after.
PC Morris admitted it was “one of the hardest cases I have dealt with”.
The inquest heard she used to drink most evenings and had been subject to domestic violence in previous relationships.
Senior coroner Colin Phillips said the post-mortem examination report found the cause of death to be hanging with the toxicology report showing a level of 137mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
A sample taken from the eye – which tends to be more accurate in showing the alcohol levels at the time of death – showed a level of 216mg of alcohol per 100ml, he added.
The drink-drive limit in the UK is 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
He recorded a conclusion of suicide.
Speaking after the inquest Ms Evans’ friend, Stacey Ansell said: “Aimee is truly missed by many people.
“If she knew how many people are heartbroken over her passing she would be overwhelmed.
“It deeply saddens me that she felt she couldn’t reach out to any of us.”
Evans’ friend Charlene Coulter said: “Aimee was a fun-loving girl who had the biggest heart – she would go out of her way to help anyone and often wore her heart on her sleeve.
“She always made time for her close friends and loved nothing more than having a get together.
“Aimee’s passing left a massive gap in our lives – she had so much to live for.
“I really wish she would have picked up the phone and confided in one of her friends as we would have been there in a second.
“Aimee will never be forgotten by any of us – we love and miss her dearly.”
If you need confidential support or want to talk, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 for free around the clock 365 days a year.
In Scotland, Breathing Space can be reached on 0800838587