Body of Co Antrim woman Nicola Murray found off Scottish coast
Tributes have been paid to Co Antrim woman Nicola Murray after a body recovered from the coast of Scotland was confirmed to be that of the missing 43-year-old.
A search operation involving the PSNI, RNLI, Coastguard, and Community Rescue Service was launched after Ms Murray was last seen leaving her home in the village of Cushendall at around 6.15pm on March 16, and failed to return.
On Saturday afternoon, a body was recovered from water north of Campbeltown on the Kintyre peninsula, and was identified as that of Ms Murray.
News of the tragic discovery was shared by the Find Nicola Murray Facebook page, which was set up in the wake of her disappearance.
A statement read: "With deep sadness we can now confirm the body found in Scotland was that of Nikki.
"Nikki was a beautiful, caring, warm hearted woman, with a smile that could light up a room. Nikki will be terribly missed."
The statement also praised friends and family members who helped during the week-long search, along with the wider local community. Gestures made during the search included a local cafe offering free food and hot drinks to those involved in scouring the coastline for traces of Nicola.
"Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your help in our search to find Nikki and bring her home," the statement added.
Following the recovery of the body, Causeway Coast and Glens SDLP councillor, Margaret Anne McKillop described the confirmation of Ms Murray's death as a "tragedy"
She said: "My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and loved ones of Nicola Murray. Their pain is unimaginable but I want them to know that they are in our thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time."
A PSNI spokesperson said Ms Murray's death was not being treated as suspicious, and a post mortem will be carried out to determine the cause of death.