Belfast Telegraph

Body found in Foyle feared to be Lesley McHugh - mum-of three missing for weeks

By Donna Deeney

Members of Foyle Search and Rescue hunting for missing Strabane mother-of-three Lesley McHugh recovered a female body from the Republic side of the lough yesterday.

The search for 69-year-old Mrs McHugh is one of two that have been ongoing in the north west over the past few weeks.

The hunt for Waterside man Michael McGinley (27), who disappeared from his home on January 21, is continuing.

A spokesman for Foyle Search and Rescue said the recovery was made at 2.24pm.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family concerned," he added.

Mrs McHugh was last seen by her family on January 6.

Her disappearance sparked a huge community response that continued despite extremely difficult weather conditions.

West Tyrone SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan offered his condolences to the family after their five weeks of not knowing what had happened to her.

He described her as a "well-respected and much-loved member of the Strabane community".

He added that the "difficult reports that a body of a female has been recovered from the River Foyle brings home a sad and harrowing reality for a local family".

"I truly hope the prayers of her three children and this community have finally been answered and that Lesley has finally been found," he said.

"I also know that her family have been suffering during the last five weeks and I hope that tonight's developments bring some much-needed closure for them.

"This is a sad and highly difficult time and I know that the public and families involved always hold out some hope.

"But this hope tonight comes to an end.

"Whilst a family is relieved to have their loved one returned after a difficult search, a painful loss and void in their lives will remain.

"My deepest and most heartfelt prayers are with the family."

Belfast Telegraph

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