TRIBUTES have been paid to Cushendall woman Nicola Murray after her body was recovered from the water north of Campbeltown in Scotland on Saturday afternoon.
An appeal was launched last weekend after the 43-year-old left her home on March 16 around 6.15pm.
A full land and sea search was launched and a ‘Find Nicola Murray’ page was set up on social media for members of the public to report any sightings and to help organise volunteers for searches of the area.
It was a full week from her last sighting when the family and friends of Nicola, who has been described as “a beautiful caring, warm hearted woman” received the news that a body had been found by police in Campbeltown.
Nicola's partner Arnold Stewart and her family and friends thanked everyone involved in the search over the preceding days, saying: “With deep sadness we can now confirm the body found in Scotland, was that of Nikki.
“Nikki was a beautiful, caring, warm hearted woman, with a smile that could light up a room. Nikki will be terribly missed.
“Arnold, The Murray and Stewart Family would like to sincerely thank you for all your phenomenal support.
“To the official services, local community, businesses, volunteers, anonymous helpers, local media and all those who have shared the news far and wide, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your help in our search to find Nikki and bring her home.
“Thank you again for all your kind thoughts and prayers. Please accept our thanks as a token of appreciation for all the kindness and help we have been shown. May Nikki rest in peace.”
Among thousands of people who responded to the message was a relative of Ruth Maguire, the 30-year-old health assistant found dead after she went missing during a night out in Carlingford, Co Louth last weekend.
The relative said: “I am devastated to hear this. Our family have been through the same heartache this week. I was so hoping that your search would have a happier ending than ours...sending you lots of love from our family to yours.”
Another said: “Nikki, you had a wonderful smile that lit up the room.”
Diane Evans said: “Our heart is so heavy with sadness to hear this news. May you find strength and peace to guide you through this time of sadness and healing.”
Gillian Campbell said: “The loss in the whole village is palpable.”
For more see this week's Chronicle