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I wish it was Fiona says missing woman's mum

THE mother of missing Fiona Pender cried all night as she watched the news of the escape of three young women from captivity in Ohio.

Josephine Pender told the Herald: "I cried all night after I saw it. I never went to bed. I couldn't stop thinking how great it would be to get Fiona back like that.

"It affected my son fierce badly too. It upset him a lot. If only we could get Fiona back but I'm afraid it's two little bodies we're looking for now, Fiona and her unborn baby."

Today Josephine is praying that Tullamore Town Council will overturn a recent decision and name a new footbridge after her missing daughter.

The 25-year-old hairdresser and part-time model was seven months pregnant when she disappeared from her apartment on Church Street, Tullamore, Co Offaly, in August 1996.

Josephine says she has found it very hard to sleep at all over the past 17 years. "I think of her every day and every night."

The distraught mum says she understands the suffering of the families of the three kidnapped American women.

"I know how they spent the last 10 years. I know what they feel like. I'm so glad these girls were found and they've gone back to their families – the joy of getting them back, I just envy them. Just to be able to have them back and nurse them and look after them would be what I'd want with Fiona," she said.