Northern Ireland

Paula Elliott: Brother thanks supporters after body of missing Lisburn woman recovered from River Lagan

Police confirmed the body of a woman was found on Monday

Paula Elliott (52) from Lisburn has been missing for three weeks.
The family of Paula Elliott (52) from Lisburn have thanked supporters for their help after a body was recovered on Monday.

THE brother of a missing Lisburn woman who was recovered from the River Lagan on Monday has thanked those who helped in the search to find her.

Paula Elliott (52) was last seen driving a red car in Lisburn on March 5 before the vehicle was found parked beside the Lagan Towpath.

On Tuesday, police confirmed they had informed Ms Elliott’s family that a body had been found and that a postmortem exam was due to take place.

Her brother David Birney (45) had joined with volunteers in the search to find her as well as speaking out for public appeals.

Posting on Facebook, he said: “Thank you all for everything and everyone’s support for trying to find Paula ‚not the news we were hoping but that’s life.

“At the minute could (you) all give us time to grieve , and the family would like my parent’s home to be strictly private at present.

“Thank you all involved, I will always be in your debt.”

During the search, he had maintained some hope his sister would be found safe and well.

“My gut was sure my sister would be found safe and well and my gut told me she was out there somewhere, how wrong was I,” he said, adding: “Miss you sis and will never forget you.”

Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 24th March 2024

Paula Elliott’s brother David Bierney (Black Hat)

Volunteers, family and friends continue searching for missing Lisburn woman Paula Elliot at the towpath in Lisburn. 

The 52-year-old was last seen leaving travelling along the Hillsborough Road area of Lisburn at 5.39pm on Tuesday March 5 in her red Citroen C4 which was later parked near the Lagan Towpath.

The PSNI has tasked the charity Community Rescue Service to lead the search for Paula, which has so far focused in around the towpath on the River Lagan, downstream as far as Belfast city centre.

Photograph by Declan Roughan / Press Eye
Paula Elliott's brother David Birney (wearing black hat) during searches with other volunteers along the Lagan Towpath. PICTURE: DECLAN ROUGHAN/PRESS EYE

Many friends were quick to praise Mr Birney and the wider family for their dedication.

“I honestly believe if it hadn’t been for your hope, strength and determination she never would have been found,” one wrote.

“It’s not the outcome anyone wanted but now you have some answers. You should be so proud of yourself. Absolutely heartbroken for you all and praying for you and your family in the difficult days, weeks and months ahead.”