Lisa hunt ends in anguish: Missing Tyrone woman's body found after two weeks
The family of a woman whose body was found almost a fortnight after she vanished have described her as "kind and thoughtful with a great sense of humour".
The body of Lisa McGowan (44) was discovered on Sunday evening less than a mile from her home in Drumquin, Co Tyrone.
Police are investigating the circumstances of her death.
Yesterday her family told of their heartache at the discovery and thanked all of those who had helped in searches for the stepmother-of-two since she went missing.
Mrs McGowan's brother-in-law Louis McFarland described her as "kind, thoughtful, person with a great sense of humour".
"She had always enjoyed the company of family and friends," he added.
A huge search operation was launched after Mrs McGowan's disappearance with volunteers from Tyrone, Fermanagh and Donegal joining in the hunt.
On Saturday, around 180 volunteers joined members of the PSNI and search and rescue teams in a bid to find Mrs McGowan.
Mr McFarland said Mrs McGowan's entire family circle was overwhelmed by the response and support they had received.
"It really is mind-blowing to see the spirit with which the community supports each other, it is great to see," he said.
"The emergency services did an outstanding job and have kept us up to speed with everything."
Mrs McGowan's husband was too distressed to speak to the media yesterday.
Her friends and family had been keeping people informed about the search for Lisa on a Facebook page.
Within hours of the discovery of a woman's body in Drumquin on Sunday evening, her family posted the heartbreaking news that it was Mrs McGowan who had been found. "On behalf of family and friends, we would like to inform you that Lisa was found late last night," a family statement read.
"Sadly Lisa is no longer with us. Paddy and Lisa's family want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. We have been overwhelmed by all the generosity and kindness given at this very difficult time."
Mr McGowan last saw his wife at 10.30pm on Monday, July 8.
A senior lecturer at a Dublin university, Mr McGowan travelled to work the next morning – but was unable to contact his partner of over 15 years through the day.
He believed his wife may have been busy walking their dogs but became increasingly concerned when she did not return his calls.
He previously said how they spoke numerous times each day.
Mr McGowan made numerous appeals for his wife to get in contact and also begged the public to contact police if they had any information regarding her whereabouts.
Mr McGowan said she took nothing with her when she left home, leaving her bag, purse and bank cards behind.
"She has nothing but the clothes on her back. No purse, no handbag – they were all left behind."
Following a police announcement that a woman's body had been found in the area, Mrs McGowan's family confirmed it to be that of Lisa.
Mrs McGowan's body was formally identified by family members yesterday.
A police spokesman said: "Police in Omagh are investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a woman whose body was discovered in the Drumquin area on Sunday 21 July."
A post-mortem examination is set to be carried out.
Patrick McGowan last spoke to his wife Lisa before heading to Dublin, where he works as a lecturer. Lisa was last seen at her home address in the Drumquin area on July 8 at 10.30pm. Police believe she went missing after 1.30pm the next day. Police, Mountain Rescue and Community Search joined some 180 people in searching for her on Saturday.