Relief as David can finally be laid to rest

The scene on the banks of the River Foyle where the remains of Lifford man David Colhoun were found.
The scene on the banks of the River Foyle where the remains of Lifford man David Colhoun were found.

The funeral will take place on Sunday of the Lifford man whose remains were found this week, more than nine months after he went missing after fleeing from police in Strabane.

It will be deeply poignant for the family of 22-year-old David Colhoun whose funeral takes place at Murlog chapel at 11am.

He will be laid to rest afterwards in St Johnston cemetery alongside his late mother, who died a few months before her son’s tragic disappearance.

Painstaking searches had taken place for Mr Colhoun since his disappearance after fleeing while in PSNI custody in Strabane town on May 22 last year.

It was a chance discovery by a digger driver working at the riverbank this week that finally located his skeletal remains.

Mr Colhoun’s father Joseph, who had never given up hope that his son would be found, said he was “relieved”.

Shortly after 9am on Tuesday, a man operating a digger discovered the remains on the banks of the Foyle in the Islandmore area of Lifford, about three miles from Lifford Bridge and half a mile from the old railway bridge.

Mr Colhoun, from Beechwood Grove in Lifford, had escaped from PSNI custody following his arrest for what were described as minor public order offences.

The PNSI Ombudsman is understood to be investigating the circumstances surrounding Mr Colhoun’s disappearance.

The family said a blue hoodie worn by the 22-year-old, found close to the remains, helped with the identification process.

David’s father, Joseph, said the discovery would help bring closure to his family, who had already been grieving their loss. “We are sad but relieved it’s all over,” he said. “I’m happy knowing that when I go get him home I will be able to bury him along with his mother,” he added. Despite his relief, Mr Colhoun said finding the body still came as a shock. “It took a lot out of me,” he said.

The remains were taken from the scene to Letterkenny General Hospital where State pathologist, Professor Marie Cassidy, conducted the post-mortem, and released to the family yesterday.

Lifford PP Fr Edward Kilpatrick, who will officiate at the Requiem Mass, said: “It is a strange situation. The Colhoun family are glad that his body has been found, that is their overriding emotion. They have already gone though the bereavement process and this is the last stage. They are relieved to be able to lay him to rest and know that he is now safe.”