11 June 2023

Search for missing Chloe Mitchell continues as two men are quizzed by police

11 June 2023

Searches for missing Co Antrim woman Chloe Mitchell continued as two men remained in police custody.

Teams from the volunteer-based Community Rescue Service organisation were focused on an area of steeply sloped undergrowth between commercial premises and the River Braid on Sunday afternoon.

Ms Mitchell, 21, was last seen on CCTV in the early hours of Saturday June 3 in Ballymena town centre.

A 26-year-old man arrested in Lurgan, Co Armagh, on Thursday in connection with the police investigation continued to be questioned on Sunday after officers on Saturday secured a 36-hour extension to his detention period.

A second man, 34, was detained in the Ballymena area on Saturday. He also remained in custody on Sunday.

A flat in the James Street area of Ballymena was cordoned off and examined by officers.

Speaking at the weekend, Darren Harper, a district commander with the Community Rescue Service, said the search operation was “challenging”.

He said volunteers are “not sticking to routes and paths” or having a “Sunday stroll”.

“They are going through dense shrubbery, overgrown woodland along the riverbanks, so it is hard on them and it’s vital that we look after their welfare as well as maintaining high search standards,” he told the PA news agency.

On Saturday, officers made a renewed appeal for information about Ms Mitchell’s disappearance.

PSNI Mid and East Antrim District Commander, Superintendent Gillian Kearney, said: “It is completely out of character for her to not be in contact with her family, who are being supported by specialist officers during this worrying time.

“I am appealing to anyone who was travelling through the James Street area in Ballymena from 10pm on Friday June 2 and 5.40pm on Thursday June 8 to think if they saw Chloe or anything unusual.

“I would also appeal for anyone with dashcam footage during this period to bring it to police.”

Ms Mitchell was last seen wearing a green and black The North Face-style jacket, a white T-shirt, leggings and Nike trainers.

Ms Kearney added: “I am appealing directly to Chloe to make contact with the police, family or friends so that we know you are safe and well.

“I would like to thank the public and search and rescue teams for all their help in trying to find Chloe.”

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