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Tragic mum's family thank search teams


Died: Teresa Keightley

Died: Teresa Keightley

Died: Teresa Keightley

The family of Co Tyrone woman Teresa Keightley, whose body was found following an extensive missing person appeal, have paid tribute to all those who helped look for her.

The 72-year-old, who lived in Cookstown, had been reported missing from her home on Monday, and more than 50 people, including Community Search and Rescue Volunteers, were involved in the search.

Her body was found on the outskirts of her home town on Wednesday.

Mrs Keightley's son, Conor, was the only Northern Irish victim of the devastating 2004 Thai tsunami that killed tens of thousands of people in south-east Asia 14 years ago.

In a statement issued yesterday via the PSNI, her family said: "Teresa was our loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother and sister and will be sadly missed by us all, as well as by her large circle of friends.

"We would like to express our sincerest thanks to all those who helped with the search.

"In particular we would like to especially thank the Community Rescue Team and the PSNI, whose dedication and professionalism helped us through a very difficult time.

"We would also like to acknowledge the generosity and support shown to our family throughout this week by Fr Boyle, parish priest, Cookstown, and the Rev Francis Coll, Coagh, as well as Mr Brian Morris and the staff of the Glenavon House Hotel, Cookstown.

"During the search for Teresa we were inundated with offers of assistance from those within the Cookstown area and beyond and we are eternally grateful for the support shown to us as a family.

"We are very appreciative of all the messages of support and sympathy we have received to date."

Mrs Keightley's funeral will be held on Tuesday, December 11, in Holy Trinity Church in Cookstown, with burial in Forthill Cemetery.

In 2014, her son, Conor Keightley, who was 31 at the time, was on holiday in Thailand when he was reported missing after the area was hit by an earthquake and the resulting tsunami on Boxing Day.

Mrs Keightley's daughters, Michelle and Darina, spent a week in Phuket trying to trace their brother's movements before his body was recovered from the resort where he had been staying and identified the next day.

Teresa said at the time it was a relief his remains had been found, explaining: "It was heartbreaking. But I was glad that he was found and that he would not be missing for the rest of our lives - that is a comfort to us.

"As a mother, I knew that Conor had parted from this world. Everybody said, 'Live in hope', but I knew he was gone."

Her family have asked for their privacy to be respected.

Belfast Telegraph