Female rugby player, 22, drowned in river after night out with friends

·Freelance Writer
·2-min read
Brooke Morris drowned in a river after a night out drinking with friends. (Wales News)
Brooke Morris drowned in a river after a night out drinking with friends. (Wales News)

A young female rugby player drowned in a river following a night of drinking with friends, an inquest has heard.

Brooke Morris, 22, was dropped off outside her family home following the night out at a club in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, but never went inside.

An inquest at Pontypridd Coroner's Court heard a huge search was mounted for "party girl" Ms Morris before her body was found five days later in a river.

The hearing was told she had "a lot to live for" and her parents had no concerns over her mental health.

But friends said she was acting "out of character" on the night of her death – recalling how she had slapped a man in the club hours for making comments about her eyebrows.

Friend Jemma Griffiths said: "She's not the argumentative type, she's not like that.

A search was launched for Brooke Morris and her body was found in the River Taff, Abercynon, five days after she went missing. (Wales News)
A search was launched for Brooke Morris and her body was found in the River Taff, Abercynon, five days after she went missing. (Wales News)

"I said, 'We're two girls, what if he had slapped you back?’"

"I don't think she meant to slap him. I think it was just a drunken reaction. I said to her, 'You're just acting silly.’”

The hearing was told the friends decided to leave after the incident and Ms Morris was dropped outside her home in Trelewis at around 2.30am but never went inside and instead climbed over a gate towards the river.

A search was launched for Ms Morris and her body was found in the River Taff, Abercynon, five days later.

A post-mortem examination found her medical cause of death was drowning.

Brooke Morris' parents had no concerns over her mental health. (Wales News)
Brooke Morris' parents had no concerns over her mental health. (Wales News)

Toxicology tests showed Ms Morris had drank a "significant amount of alcohol" and was three times the drink-drive limit at the time of her death.

In a statement, her father Gary said: "With Brooke, she was more of a party girl. Her perfect job would have been in Ibiza.”

Giving a narrative conclusion, coroner Rachel Knight said: "Likely due to the level of alcohol she had consumed, Brooke's behaviour was out of character and she had slapped a man who had made a comment about her eyebrows.

"She did not go back into her house but walked to its rear and climbed a gate leading to one of the tributaries of the River Taff.

"Brooke's intention in going to the bridge and entering the water could not be ascertained.”

She told Ms Morris’ family: "She had a lot to live for and her death really is a tragedy."

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