NSW Coroner Likely To Find Missing Sydney Woman Has Died

Mum vanished after school run

NSW Coroner Likely To Find Missing Sydney Woman Has Died
Image: SMH

Missing Sydney mum Katherine Ackling-Bryen was 'upset and distressed' as she dropped her two children - one wearing pyjamas - at school before going shopping and preparing for a family meal.

More than a year later, her family have said they are sure she has died. 

Her husband, Michael Bryen says he cannot accept wife Katherine would have walked away from her two girls.

"Those girls were her life," he a NSW coronial inquest on Wednesday.

"If she was alive I believe she would have made some sort of contact."


Mr Bryen reported the 37-year-old missing after she failed to pick up their two daughters from Oxley Park Public School on February 19, 2016.

The court heard Ms Ackling-Bryen had suffered from anxiety and depression, and in 2013 she had an acute psychotic episode.

On the day she vanished in early 2016 Ms Ackling-Bryen was upset and distressed because one of her daughters had soiled her clothes the previous night.

She had decided to keep the girl at home but had a last-minute change of mind and dropped the girl at school in her pyjamas.

CCTV footage shows Ms Ackling-Bryen at St Marys Shopping Village about midday, but police have been unable to find any other trace of her.

"Given what I'd seen in her mental breakdown before and her ability to function normally, I don't believe there's been foul play," Mr Bryen said.

In an emotional statement, Ms Ackling-Bryen's mother, Sue Reeve, said she was "broken and shattered by her loss".

NSW deputy coroner Harriet Grahame has indicated she'll find Katherine is deceased when she hands down her formal findings on Friday.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.