THE WIDOW of a Holme Valley man whose body lay undiscovered on the moors for five months has spoken of her nightmare.
Dorothy Lawrence's husband, Andrew, 58, of Holmbridge, went out walking on November 29, 2004.
He was never seen alive again.
An inquest in Huddersfield heard yesterday how two fence workers found his body in a remote area of moorland on April 30 this year.
On the day he went missing, Mr Lawrence, a regular walker, had stopped at a local shop near his Brownhill Lane home and then gone out while his wife was at work.
She returned home, but he did not reappear.
The next morning she called the police.
Her call sparked the largest- ever mountain rescue search in the Huddersfield area.
Mountain rescue teams from Holme Valley, Woodhead, Oldham and Calder Valley were called out to search forest and moorland in the Yateholme area above Holmbridge.
More than 70 people joined the hunt for Mr Lawrence, but could not find him.
But on April 30 the two fence workers came across a figure near an area called Red Ratcher. The area is between Wessenden Head Moor and Chew Reservoir, Saddleworth.
One of the fencers described seeing a jacket and then, on further inspection, found Mr Lawrence's body.
A post-mortem revealed he died of hypothermia.
Coroner Mark Hinchliffe said his heart went out to Mrs Lawrence for the months she had to wait to discover her husband's fate.
He added: "He had made an attempt to come back and got lost. He was maybe trying to find a track.
"Once it gets dark you only need to lose your sense of north, east, south and west once and it is gone."
Mr Hinchliffe, who recorded a verdict of accidental death, said: "He went up simply to have a nice day's walking and somehow or other he lost track of time or it became dark, to his surprise, early.
"He became lost on that lonely, cold moor."
Speaking after the hearing Mrs Lawrence said: "When he didn't return I was frantic.
"It was a devastating thing to happen and it was a nightmare five months.
"When they discovered his body it brought it to an end."
Mrs Lawrence said her husband loved walking.
She added: "He was a serious man who was quiet and thoughtful. He loved the solitude of walking and it gave him the time to think."