'Rest in peace Helena' - tributes paid after body found in search for missing NI mother of four

A body has been discovered during a search for missing Northern Ireland woman, Helena McElhennon.

Ms. McElhennon, 42, was from Drapertstown in County Londonderry.

Helena McElhennon.

Helena McElhennon.

The mother of four was last seen in Londonderry Sunday November 27, 2019.

Ms. McElhennon's black Mitsubishi Warrior was located in a lay-by close to the city's Foyle Bridge before Christmas.

The PSNI officially confirmed a body had been recovered from the River Foyle on Tuesday evening.

"Police searching for missing person Helena McElhennon can confirm that a body has been recovered from the River Foyle.

Helena McElhennon was last seen in Londonderry at the end of November.

Helena McElhennon was last seen in Londonderry at the end of November.

"The 42 year old from Draperstown was reported missing on Sunday 24th November.

"Formal identification has yet to be carried out however the McElhennon family has been informed," said a PSNI spokesperson.

A message published on a Facebook page set-up to coordinate searches for Ms McElhennon also confirmed that the body of the missing mother of four had been found.

"It is with a sad and heavy heart we tell you that late yesterday evening we found Helena during our daily search," read a message posted on the Facebook page called Bring Helena Home.

"While we always held to hope we would find her alive unfortunately this was not to be."

The message continued: "We understand that yesterday there were many people asking for updates of the search however we had to go through a process to confirm this and inform family members.

"Our sincere thanks go to extended family, friends, strangers and most of all the many different search teams who have helped us over the past few weeks.

"Funeral arrangements will be posted later and at this time we ask that you give us some time come to terms with what has happened.

"Rest In Peace Helena."

Tributes

Many of the people who took part in searches for Ms. McElhennon paid tribute to her on the Bring Helena Home Facebook page.

"May Helena rest in peace and may God bless and comfort her family and friends.

"My heart goes out to you all," wrote one woman.

"May the lord have mercy on her beautiful soul and may she rest in peace may the lord give her family comfort at their sad loss," said another.

Foyle Search and Rescue confirmed a body had been recovered and passed on their condolences to Ms. McElhennon's family and friends.

"At 17:24hrs Tuesday 14th January the Police Service of Northern Ireland tasked our Emergency Response Teams to reports that a body had been located," read a statement issued by Foyle Search and Rescue.

"Our teams responded and had the sad task of recovering a body.

"Our thoughts and prayers to the family involved.

"Appreciation to Search Team North West, Lough Neagh Search and Rescue and Community Rescue Service and all organisations," they added.