Care home workers who saw a Suffolk mum-of-five hours before her death have told an inquest she did not look overly distressed. 

An inquest has opened into the death of Eglė Vengalienė, whose body was found in a lake in Brandon Country Park on April 9, 2021.

On the first day of the inquest, Suffolk Coroner's Court heard from two former Brandon Park care home staff members and the attending police officer. 

The court heard a statement given to police on April 9 2021 by former care home worker Heather Bird.

She said a woman had waved through the window of the care home early in the morning.

The statement added: "She had a smile on her face and had her arms around her as if she was cold...

"She didn't look overly distressed, just really cold and wet."

It then went on to detail that Ms Bird went outside and stood fairly close to the woman, asking if she was okay to which she replied: "Help."

Offering to call the police, several of the care home staff confirmed that the woman shouted the following in response: "No, no police. Will be big trouble."

Night shift worker Kirby Hales made the call to Suffolk Constabulary at 5am.

Ms Hales said the woman looked "cold and damp," presenting a "nervous smile".

She added that she tried to call the police covertly, but the woman heard the call being made and left.

The next day, Ms Hales opened one of the care home resident's curtains and witnessed someone delivering chest compressions to a body near the lake.

The court also heard from Sergeant Rowan Saunders who attended the first call from Brandon Park Care Home on April 9, 2021.

Sgt. Saunders said his first thought was that the case could be mental health-related from someone leading a nomadic lifestyle in the surrounding grounds.

"My second thought was that it could be a female victim of a domestic incident," he said.

Visiting the pond to look for the reported woman in distress, Sgt. Saunders said: "I'm extremely confident that there was nobody in the pond, the only exception would be if they were in the water, physically out of sight."

He was at the scene for 25 minutes and, having conducted a search, headed back to Mildenhall at 6.09am.

East Anglian Daily Times: Andrius Vengalis, by the lake in Brandon Country Park where the body of his wife Egle was found.Andrius Vengalis, by the lake in Brandon Country Park where the body of his wife Egle was found. (Image: Tom Bristow)

Ms Vengalienė's widower, Mr Vengalis, asked the sergeant if there was any body-worn camera footage of his search.

READ MORE: Husband 'didn't kill' wife in Brandon 'body in lake' mystery

Sgt. Saunders answered by saying they were on their first generation of body-worn cameras at the time and the cameras had to spend more time being charged.

Noting that the existence of body-worn video footage had not been detailed in his initial statement, he added: "I probably didn't wear it because it didn't work very well."

In media reports from the time and witness statements seen by this newspaper, a dog walker said he saw her husband, 46-year-old Andrius Vengalis of Brandon, "pumping up and down" on Mrs Vengalienė and thought he could be strangling her.

In a witness statement made on April 21, 11 days after the initial statement, the dog walker clarified to police that he saw him on the shore trying to resuscitate his wife.

Charged with murder, the prosecution dropped the case against Mr Vengalis at Ipswich Crown Court in January 2022.

The inquest is expected to conclude on Friday, May 19.