Monday 24 September 2018

Gardai confirm body recovered from River Suir is missing teen Elisha Gault (14)

  • Body recovered from River Suir confirmed as that of missing Tipperary teen Elisha Gault (14)
  • 'Our baby girl has been recovered, thank you all for your efforts in bringing her home to us, so we can now lay her to rest' - devastated mum of Elisha
  • Gardaí pay tribute to the hundreds of volunteers who supported the massive search operation for the Carrick-on-Suir schoolgirl, who was missing since St Patrick's Day
  • Full post mortem examination is expected to be conducted today
  • 'You are so beautiful, with brains to burns and hilariously funny, we miss your craic' - family's appeal
  • Gardaí treating death of young girl as a 'personal tragedy'
Elisha's mother, Gráinne, has appealed to anyone who may have seen anything unusual in Carrick-on-Suir or its surrounding areas since Elisha vanished at 10.10pm on St Patrick's Day to contact gardaí.
Elisha's mother, Gráinne, has appealed to anyone who may have seen anything unusual in Carrick-on-Suir or its surrounding areas since Elisha vanished at 10.10pm on St Patrick's Day to contact gardaí.
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

GARDAÍ have confirmed that a body recovered from the River Suir was that of missing Tipperary teen Elisha Gault (14).

In a statement, gardaí paid tribute to the hundreds of search volunteers who had supported the massive search operation for the Carrick-on-Suir schoolgirl who vanished on St Patrick's Day.

Elisha Gault
Elisha Gault

Gardaí confirmed that the remains recovered from the river at Killowen were those of Elisha and have been transferred to University Hospital Waterford (UHW).

The Office of the State Pathologist was notified and a full post mortem examination is expected to be conducted on Monday.

Gardai confirmed to Independent.ie that they are not treating Elisha Gault's death as suspicious and are describing it as a "personal tragedy". 

They are currently liaising with Elisha's parents, Gráinne and Cameron, and her extended family who had supported a massive search operation for her over the past eight days.

The search for Elisha Gault in the River Suir. Photo: Dylan Vaughan
The search for Elisha Gault in the River Suir. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

The devastated family are being comforted by friends and neighbours.

The body was spotted in the River Suir at a place called Killowen some 8km distance downstream of Carrick-on-Suir shortly after 6pm on Sunday.

It was spotted by the Waterford-based Irish Coast Guard Sikorsky helicopter.

The helicopter was conducting sweeps of the river as part of the ongoing search operation for the missing teen.

River Rescue and Civil Defence search for Elisha Gault on the river in Carrick-on-Suir
last week
River Rescue and Civil Defence search for Elisha Gault on the river in Carrick-on-Suir last week

The crew spotted the remains in the water and the body was successfully recovered by a nearby team of searchers and divers.

It is understood the remains were recovered from a stretch of river between Fiddown and Piltown as the River Suir marks the boundary between Waterford and Kilkenny.

The tragic discovery came just hours after Elisha's heartbroken family had pleaded with the public to contact Gardaí if they spotted anything unusual, no matter how trivial, as they marked one week since her disappearance.

Elisha's heartbroken parents, Gráinne and Cameron, were supported by family, neighbours and friends as they marked one week since the teen disappeared on St Patrick's Day.

Missing Elisha Gault (14)
Missing Elisha Gault (14)

Gráinne had also issued an emotional social media appeal to anyone who may have seen anything unusual in Carrick-on-Suir or its surrounding areas since Elisha vanished to contact Gardaí.

Social media had played a key role in the appeal for information on Elisha's whereabouts.

"Please share, try and remember back, are you missing something so small that it means nothing to you but can mean a lot to us," Gráinne said.

Sighting

The last sighting of the teen was shortly after 10pm on the evening of St Patrick's Day on Dillon Bridge in the Tipperary town.

Gráinne had spent the week issuing heart-rending appeals for public help in finding Elisha and for the teen to come home safe.

"Elisha, your daddy, myself and your three sisters love and miss you very much," she said.

"We always have your back no matter what - you are so beautiful, with brains to burns and hilariously funny."

"We miss your craic. We just want you home for a movie night - get in touch, egg."

The massive search effort had extended beyond Tipperary to Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and even Cork.

"We want to sincerely thank everyone that has been involved in the search (for) our daughter," she said.

"We continue to thank everybody involved in searching, helping and supporting, you will be eternally in our hearts."

Search

Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue were supported by the Civil Defence and the specialist Garda Water Unit which deployed its operational unit on the town quays.

The search had also been supported by volunteer search units from Clonmel, Waterford and Nenagh.

Divers were supported by Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBS) which shuttled up and down the River Suit all day between search zones.

  • If you have been affected by any issues raised in this article, please contact The Samaritans free helpline on 116 123 or by  email to jo@samaritans.ie

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