The family of Derry teenager Dean Millar is today expecting officials to formally confirm the identify of a body retrieved from the River Foyle earlier this week.
Dean’s relatives said they were hopeful that the test results will mean that their long search for the missing 18-years-old was now over.
Dean’s uncle, Paddy McDaid, thanked all those who have joined them and supported them during their tireless five-and-a half weeks search along the River Foyle.
A body was recovered from the banks of the Foyle last Tuesday evening and the formal identification process was expected to be concluded this morning.
Yesterday Mr. McDaid said: “Everything is pointing towards it being Dean, but we have to wait until these tests are completed to be totally sure. We are just waiting on that official confirmation.
“We want the identification to be beyond doubt and they are doing all in their power to sort that out,” he added.
Commenting on the family’s ordeal over the past month and a half, Mr McDaid said: “It has been a long haul, five and a half weeks. It seemed so long, but looking back now it happened in the blink of an eye.
“When we started looking we were expecting three or four days, but that was not to be. It hasn’t been easy and we want to say a massive thanks to everyone who has helped us.
“Without their support we wouldn’t have had the strength. That is what we drew on. We want to thank all the volunteers, anybody that has walked in our shoes over the past five and a half weeks and those who brought food.”
Mr McDaid said the family wished to say a special word of thanks to Foyle Search & Rescue and the Maiden City Sub Aqua Club, who have been a constant source of professional assistance throughout their search.
He added that through the ‘Help Get Dean Home’ Facebook page, messages of support have flooded in from people at home and even from Scotland and England.
“This is not just something on our doorstep,” he said, adding: “People don’t want this happening in the town. Dean wasn’t the first and, unfortunately he is not going to be the last but, hopefully, this won’t happen again for a very long time.”