Vanished 53-year-old mother Debbie Crothers found dead by search teams

A woman whose disappearance sparked a substantial manhunt has been found dead not far from her home in Carrickfergus.

By Adam Kula
Monday, 20th December 2021, 10:48 am
Updated Monday, 20th December 2021, 4:04 pm
Debbie Crothers.
Debbie Crothers.

Debbie Crothers, 53, had vanished on Friday, December 10 from her home in the Dunluskin Gardens area of the town.

She had been at home by herself, and was visited by a guest who left at 6.30pm that day.

Later, neighbours noticed that while her TV and lights were on, the door of her house was open and she was nowhere to be seen.

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Sean McCarry, head of the Community Rescue Service (CRS) – which carries out manhunts for missing people – had been deploying up to 50 volunteers per day to look for her.

They were searching outwards from her address, including the thick forested area of Bashfordlands Woods.

But this morning, Mr McCarry told the News Letter that the hunt was over.

The PSNI said: “A post mortem will be carried out to determine the cause of death, however the death is not being treated as suspicious at this time.”

The weather had been wet and wintery since she vanished, with temperatures dipping down to 2C some nights.

It is understood she was found on wasteground adjacent to Carrick Grammar School, not far from the Elim church which she attended, at about 4pm on Saturday.

Mr McCarry offered his sympathies to the family, and thanks to the Carrick community, which had kept the search volunteers supplied with food throughout.

“It was a tremendous community effort,” he said.

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