Monday 23 July 2018

Search for missing Elisha (14) extended to new areas as it enters fourth day

Elisha Gault (14) has not been seen since she left her home in Carrick On Suir in Co Tipperary at around 10pm on Saturday March 17
Elisha Gault (14) has not been seen since she left her home in Carrick On Suir in Co Tipperary at around 10pm on Saturday March 17
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

The search for a missing Tipperary schoolgirl has been extended to Waterford, Clonmel and Kilkenny.

Gardai stressed that they are still hopeful that Elisha Gault (14) is alive and may be staying with friends.

However, extensive searches of the River Suir in her hometown of Carrick-on-Suir continued for a fourth day.

Dozens of concerned Carrick-on-Suir residents lined the town quays as search volunteers combed the fast-flowing river.

Elisha left her home at New Street in Carrick-on-Suir between 9pm and 10pm on St Patrick's Day - and was last spotted on Dillon Bridge, not far from her home, a short time later.

Today, four separate water units continued trawls of the River Suir downstream of Dillon Bridge.

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

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

A number of reported sightings of a young girl matching Elisha's description are being investigated by Gardai but, as yet, detectives indicated that they have not received any confirmed sightings.

Gardai have now extended their appeal for information to nearby towns and cities to Carrick-on-Suir including Clonmel, Kilkenny and Waterford.

This is amid speculation Elisha may have travelled outside Carrick-on-Suir last Saturday night.

Elisha's parents, Grainne and Cameron, have issued a heartfelt appeal for information on her whereabouts.

Grainne, who works in a beauty salon in Carrick-on-Suir, has posted daily social media updates on the search for her daughter.

The mother urged Elisha or anyone with knowledge of her whereabouts to come forward and help Gardai.

"If you know of her whereabouts, tell her she is not in trouble," Grainne posted on Facebook.

"She won't be forced to come home if she does not want to."

"We just want to know that she is safe and well so we can call off all the search efforts - and that myself, her Daddy and her three sisters love her very much, no matter what."

Grainne said her entire family have been overwhelmed by the public response to the search for Elisha.

"Thank you to all the people of Carrick, parents, teenagers, sending well wishes and going out in that frosty weather to look for Elisha," she said.

Her father, Cameron, said the family are hoping and praying that Elisha is safe and well, possibly staying with a friend outside her normal circle of acquaintances in Carrick-on-Suir.

"We want to let her know that she is in no trouble whatsoever," he said.

In a direct appeal to Elisha he said: "Just make contact with us and let us know you are OK."

Clonmel's Supt William Leahy again appealed for public assistance in their search for Elisha.

He urged that if Elisha or any of her friends hear the appeal and have information on the teen's whereabouts that they should immediately contacts Gardai or search officials.

Elisha, who is a secondary school student at Comeragh College in Carrick-on-Suir, is five foot ten inches in height, of slim build, with blue eyes and dyed blonde hair.

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