Belfast Telegraph

Missing Nicola Murray ‘just isn’t well enough to be safe’, says partner

Nicola Murray
Nicola Murray
Brett Campbell

By Brett Campbell

The distraught partner of a missing Co Antrim woman has made a desperate plea for information as he revealed she had recently faced a series of traumatic events that had turned her life upside down.

Arnold Stewart is desperate to know if anyone saw his girlfriend Nicola Murray (43), after she was spotted walking by the shoreline near Cushendall Golf Club on Saturday evening.

"We need to know if anyone saw her after this," he said.

"Did she walk away, did anyone see her walking through the town or has anyone seen her since?"

So far there have only been two reported sightings of Nicola who was last spotted shortly after she walked out of her nearby home at 6.15pm.

She was dressed in a short red padded coat, dark blue jeans and a pink-coloured beanie hat.

Mr Stewart believes she is unlikely to have approached anyone due to her being withdrawn in the days before she vanished.

"She is very reserved - she just isn't well enough to be safe and if anyone knows anything we need to know because she needs proper support," he added.

Ms Murray struggled to come to terms with the loss of her mum who died suddenly around 18 months ago.

Her partner said she suffered another "massive blow" when the council worker was made redundant from her job shortly after returning from a period of sick leave.

"She just wasn't coping with life, everything piled up, but she was trying to get through it," Mr Steward added.

"It was one massive blow after another."

He said Nicola's father and two brothers are also distraught and struggling to cope with her disappearance.

But they are all taking comfort from a massive search and rescue operation that is under way in the village.

Dozens of people have given up their time to search miles of coastline, isolated beauty spots and areas of wasteland.

"We are also urging people to check sheds and farm out-houses, anywhere she may have went to ground," he said.

"The level of support and community spirit has been phenomenal and is just about the only thing keeping us going."

The retained fireman said many of his colleagues are taking part in the full land, air and sea operation ongoing in the Glens of Antrim. Police, Air Support, the Community Rescue Service, the Coastguard, RNLI lifeboats and search and rescue dogs have been combing the area.

The qualified teacher is around 5ft 3ins tall, of slim build with dark brown shoulder length hair which is slightly greying and normally tied in a ponytail.

Anyone who has seen Ms Murray or who may have dashcam footage of the missing woman should contact detectives in Coleraine on 101 quoting reference 1183 16/03/19.

Mr Stewart said he can never give up while there is a chance his partner is still alive.

"If she is out there I can only beg her to come home and if someone knows where she is then please tell us," he said.

"We know there's a worst case scenario but we cannot give up looking for Nicola until we have a reason to give up.

"That's why it's so important that people come forward with information. We need to know what happened to her."

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