Belfast Telegraph

Huge search ends after missing man turns up

By Lisa Smyth

A major search operation for a missing 27-year-old man - which lasted almost 24 hours - has been called off after he was found safe and well.

Police and members of the Community Rescue Service launched an extensive search for Mark Booth after concerns were raised over his safety on Monday evening.

He was last seen in the Somerset Court area of Coleraine shortly after 6pm on Monday.

The search teams combed the banks of the River Bann and woodland in Coleraine and a PSNI helicopter was also tasked to assist with the operation.

However, Mr Booth was found alive and well yesterday afternoon. It is understood that he was located in derelict buildings in the town after he answered a telephone call from a worried relative.

A PSNI spokesman said: "Mr Booth has been found safe and well."

Sean McCarry, regional commander of the Community Rescue Service, said: "This is an extremely good result.

"We are pleased Mr Booth has been found.

"We have been working in conjunction with the PSNI and now all the teams can be stood down."

The public had been asked to stay away from the river during the search efforts.

Mr McCarry said: "The river is quite swollen so it is dangerous for members of the public to be down along the banks."

The discovery of Mr Booth brought to an end an anxious 24-hour wait for news on his whereabouts by his family and friends.

His disappearance came just days after the body of missing Christopher Connor was found in nearby Portstewart.

Mr Connor (20) went missing after a night out in the seaside town on December 17.

His body was found two days later outside the back of the derelict Montague Arms Hotel on Church Street.

Meanwhile, the search for a missing 69-year-old woman continued last night.

A PSNI spokesman said police and the family of Nora Palmer are becoming increasingly concerned over her whereabouts.

She was last seen in the area of Newry bus station shortly before 1pm on Friday, December 23.

It is believed she boarded a bus to Dublin around this time.

When she was last seen she was wearing blue jeans, black shoes and a white fluffy jacket. She was also carrying a blue suitcase.

Police are urging Nora - or anyone who has information concerning her whereabouts - to contact Newry police station on 0845 600 8000.

Belfast Telegraph


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