Northern Ireland

Chloe Mitchell: Parents of murdered 21-year-old speak of heartbreak over closed coffin

Chloe Mitchell (right) and sisters Kirsty and Nadine (left) in front of her coffin as it is carried through Ballymena on June 29. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA
Chloe Mitchell (right) and sisters Kirsty and Nadine (left) in front of her coffin as it is carried through Ballymena on June 29. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Chloe Mitchell (right) and sisters Kirsty and Nadine (left) in front of her coffin as it is carried through Ballymena on June 29. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA

THE parents of the murdered Ballymena woman Chloe Mitchell, have spoken of the heartbreak and mental torture of not being able to open her coffin at her wake.

Georgina and George Mitchell said they were robbed of the chance to hug or kiss the 21-year-old for the last time.

Chloe Mitchell’s remains were found on June 11, more than a week after she was last seen by her family.

It took more than two weeks for the remains to be formally identified as that of the 21-year-old.

It’s understood the victim, who lived in the Harryville area of Ballymena, suffered a violent death.

Brandon Rainey (26) of James Street in Ballymena, has been charged with her murder.

Speaking to the Sunday Life, her mother Georgina Mitchell said: “It was heartbreaking, mental torture, not being able to give her a hug or a kiss.

“The only thing I got for a day was Chloe’s ponytail. I couldn’t keep it, it wasn’t fair. I gave it back to put it in with her [in the coffin].

“To be quite honest, it was too horrendous to keep. She left that day [for burial] and that was it.”

Chloe Mitchell’s remains were recovered in Ballymena town centre after a week long search.

Her body was found close to where she was last captured on CCTV, in the early hours of Saturday June 3.

“We have also been told Chloe was there for a week before she was found,’’ said Georgina.

“She was identified through DNA swabs. They swabbed my mouth and they swabbed [my wife’s] mouth,’’ added her father George.

“It took so long to get her home because the post-mortem process was complex, and that was very hard to get our heads around.”

The manner in how Chloe Mitchell died has not been disclosed, but it’s understood the family are aware of how she died.

“No parent should have to bury their children, not in this way, no,” mum Georgina told the Sunday Life.

“There are no words. We don’t know how to move forward.

“The nightmares, the thoughts that are in your head all the time. Every day the torture of it. Was she shouting for us?’

“It is horrific. Everybody is hurting. We just can’t take it in.”