Belfast Telegraph

Body of missing woman found at foot of cliff with pet dog by side

By CHRIS KILPATRICK

A young woman's body was found at a north coast beauty spot, alongside the beloved pet dog believed to have fallen with her down a 100ft cliff.

The body of Kelly McGarvey was discovered at Downhill following a large-scale search of the coastline close to Castlerock, Co Derry.

The 30-year-old's family contacted police on Wednesday evening to report they had been unable to contact her.

Police located her vehicle, a blue Peugeot, at a car park close to Mussenden Temple.

The find sparked a land and sea search yesterday morning involving the Community Rescue Service, Coastguard and police helicopter.

At around 10am the woman's body was discovered close to rocks.

A witness said her dog was found alongside her. It was not seriously injured.

A set of car keys were discovered at the top of the cliff, it was claimed.

The woman's father underwent the heartbreaking task of identifying his daughter at the scene.

A friend last night told the Belfast Telegraph that Ms McGarvey ran a teeth-whitening business in Coleraine, Pearly Whites.

"The whole town is devastated," he said.

"I was speaking to Kelly just a couple of weeks ago.

"She was the nicest girl you could meet."

It is understood she got engaged to her partner in November.

Tributes were posted on Facebook yesterday as news of the tragedy spread.

"Got some of the worst news this morning to start of the New Year, you never (know) what's gonna happen in life guys, live life like there is no tomorrow RIP big cousin, love you," a relative posted on the social networking site.

The mayor of Coleraine, UUP councillor David Harding, described it as "an awful tragedy".

"It's shocking and deeply saddening," he added.

"My sympathy goes out to the family of the young woman and all those who knew her."

Police last night said they were not treating the woman's death as suspicious.

A PSNI spokesman said: "Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a woman whose body was discovered on Downhill Beach, Co Londonderry, earlier today, Thursday, January 2.

"A post-mortem examination will be carried out to determine the cause of death.

"Police are not treating this death as suspicious at this stage of the investigation."

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