herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Prayers as divers find no trace of missing Elisha (14)

Members of the gardai and the Civil Defence search for missing teenager Elisha Gault on the River Suir in Co Tipperary, yesterday
Members of the gardai and the Civil Defence search for missing teenager Elisha Gault on the River Suir in Co Tipperary, yesterday

Dozens of worried locals lined the River Suir quays as intensive searches for missing Tipperary teen Elisha Gault (14) failed for a fourth day to find any clue as to her whereabouts.

Prayers were offered at all Masses in Carrick-on-Suir yesterday, as divers trawled the River Suir for 1km downstream of the town.

Meanwhile, gardai conducted door-to-door inquiries and examined hundreds of hours of CCTV camera footage for any indication of Elisha's movements.

However, despite an intensive search of the River Suir downstream of Dillon Bridge, where Elisha was last spotted on the evening of St Patrick's Day, nothing of note was found.

The search has now been extended to Waterford, Clonmel and Kilkenny in the hope she may have caught a lift and be staying with a distant acquaintance.

Detectives are satisfied she is not staying with any friend in Carrick-on-Suir pal. One garda source acknowledged that fears for Elisha's welfare are mounting the longer she remains untraced.

Extensive searches of the River Suir will resume for a fifth day today. Search volunteers yesterday combed the fast-flowing river with divers conducting finger-tip searches of the riverbed and banks.

Elisha left her home at New Street in Carrick-on-Suir between 9pm and 10pm on St Patrick's Day - and was last spotted on Dillon Bridge, not far from her home, a short time later.

Heartfelt

Four separate water units continued trawls of the river from first light yesterday. Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue was supported by the Civil Defence and the specialist Garda Water Unit, which deployed its operational unit on the town quays.

Elisha's parents, Grainne and Cameron, have issued a heartfelt appeal for information.

"If you know of her whereabouts, tell her she is not in trouble," Grainne posted on Facebook.

"She won't be forced to come home if she does not want to.

"We just want to know that she is safe and well so we can call off all the search efforts - and that myself, her daddy and her three sisters love her very much, no matter what."

Grainne said her family has been overwhelmed by the search response of the public.

"Thank you to all the people of Carrick, parents, teenagers, sending well wishes and going out in that frosty weather to look for Elisha," she said.

Her father Cameron said the family is hoping and praying that Elisha is safe.

"We want to let her know that she is in no trouble whatsoever. Just make contact with us and let us know you are OK," he said.

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