Family of missing Helena is ‘holding on to hope’

Missing: Helena McElhennon.
Missing: Helena McElhennon.

The sister of missing mother-of-four Helena McElhennon has told how her family just ‘want her home.’

Searches focusing along the Foyle and Derry areas were still continuing as of last night after the 42-year-old, from Draperstown, went missing on Sunday, November 24.

Teresa with her sister Helena.

Teresa with her sister Helena.

Her car, a black Mitsubishi Warrior, was found at the cityside lay-by close to the Foyle Bridge around the same time as the last sighting of her, at around 10.30am.

Her sister Teresa Kidd described Helena, whose children are aged from one to 10 years old, as the ‘smartest, brightest and most outgoing’ of five siblings.

‘She is always up for the craic and always wants to go shopping.’

Her children, said Teresa, are ‘aware of what is going on and just want her home.’

Teresa told how Helena had been living with depression and ‘was in a bad state of mind.’ She urged anyone who may have been in the vicinities of Derry, Buncrana, Draperstown, Limavady, Omagh and surrounding areas to think back on the morning of November 24 or afterwards in case they may have spotted her.

She also urged Helena, if she is reading this, to get in touch.

“Helena, please contact us. Everything will be ok. There is nothing that can’t be solved. Everything is fixable. You can trust me, I’m your sister and I’ll help you.”

While the search is widespread, it is mainly focusing on the Derry area.

“It is all we have to go on,” said Teresa.

“Nothing came out of the reconstruction that was done. A few people contacted the police with bits and pieces, but nothing came of it. There’s no evidence that Helena is in the water, but there is no evidence she is not.”

Teresa said the family has been left ‘overwhelmed’ by the sheer generosity of the businesses, individuals and communities in the areas they are focusing on. “It’s just unbelievable what people are doing to help us. People I don’t even know have been ringing me, telling me how we’re in their prayers. We’ve been contacted by other families, who have unfortunately been through this. In their time of despair, they’re reaching out to help us and have been out searching. We’ve had people offer us Santa experiences for the children. Helena will be astounded by what people have been doing for us, as we are. We are so grateful.”

The family are searching alongside the dedicated teams at Foyle Search and Rescue, Search Team North West and Community Search and Rescue. Boyne Search and Rescue from Drogheda are also joining them on Monday.

Teresa urged everyone to look at Helena’s picture and ‘retrace your own steps, and if you think you saw anything at all, please call the police.’

She added how they have hope.“Deep down, you want that bit of hope. The reputation and history of that location and Helena’s mental health may have people thinking the worst, but we have to hold on to hope until we get a definite outcome. We just want her home, to help her get the support and help she needs. And, if the outcome is not what we are hoping for, we just want to lay her to rest.”

Helena is described as 5ft 4in height, of medium build with short, dark hair and possibly wearing a maroon coloured cardigan or long, brown dress. Searches are being undertaken daily. See Helena McElhennon Search Updates page on Facebook.