Northern Ireland

Void left in hearts of all who knew Chloe Mitchell, funeral told

An image of Chloe Mitchell in King George Harryville Park, Ballymena, as members of the public watch her funeral service on a big screen (Liam McBurney/PA)
An image of Chloe Mitchell in King George Harryville Park, Ballymena, as members of the public watch her funeral service on a big screen (Liam McBurney/PA)

A void has been left in the hearts in the family and friends of a young woman killed in Co Antrim, a funeral service has heard.

The death of Chloe Mitchell, 21, in Ballymena earlier this month caused shockwaves through the town.

Crowds of people gathered to watch her funeral on Thursday in a park in the town which was adorned with pink ribbons, pink balloons and pictures of Ms Mitchell.

Bouquets of flowers were left beside the large screen at King George V Park where mourners, including representatives from the Community Rescue Service who helped in the search for Ms Mitchell, watched on.

Chloe Mitchell funeral mourners
Crowds of people watched the service from King George Harryville Park, Ballymena (Liam McBurney/PA)

Rev Eddie Chestnutt, minister of Harryville Presbyterian Church, conducted the funeral service in Ms Mitchell’s family home a short distance from the park.

He described a “community in shock”.

He added: “The loss of their vivacious 21-year-old daughter is a blow that George and Georgina and their family will struggle to recover from, but they are deeply grateful to all who have helped them in any way.

“Chloe’s sudden passing has left a void in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.”

Rev Chestnutt said Ms Mitchell’s parents remember her as a “shy girl before maturing into a beautiful young woman”.

He added: “Chloe blossomed into a young adult who had a warm and generous heart, she developed into a forgiving and trusting person, someone who was able to speak her own mind.

Chloe Mitchell funeral mourners
The service was relayed to the park on a big screen (Liam McBurney/PA)

“She adored young children, and she was adored by young children. She was a favourite of all the nephews and nieces in the family. Chloe could often be found in the park with a gang of small children organising activities for their amusement… playing football, arranging obstacle courses, blowing bubbles, all for the delight of a crowd of small children.

“Chloe was much loved by her devoted parents and by her siblings.”

Following the funeral service, a piper led a procession of mourners carrying the coffin towards Ballee Cemetery.

Ms Mitchell was last seen on CCTV in the early hours of June 3 in Ballymena.

A huge search operation took place following her disappearance.

Detectives launched a murder inquiry after suspected human remains were found on June 11, and earlier this week police confirmed they were those of Ms Mitchell.

Two men have appeared in court on charges connected to her death.

Brandon John Rainey, 26, from James Street in Ballymena, is charged with murder and Ryan Johnston Gordon, 34, from Nursery Close, Ballymena, is charged with assisting an offender.