Family devastated by death of Elizabeth McVey

THE family of Elizabeth McVey spoke of their devastation yesterday after a body found on a beach was identified as that of the missing mother of two.

• Husband Michael and daughter Lynsey at an earlier press conference. They spoke of their anguish that 'we will never see her again'. Picture: Complimentary

Police have confirmed that the body washed up on the shore at an exclusive East Lothian golf club was that of the missing Musselburgh woman.

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The 50-year-old council worker, who had two grown up children, had been missing for more than a week. Her family said they were "absolutely devastated" to learn of her death.

Mrs McVey, who was known as Libby, disappeared from her Musselburgh home on 21 March, sparking a huge police search and a Facebook and poster campaign to find her.

On Wednesday, a member of the public found a body on the shores of the Renaissance Golf Club in Dirleton – the day after Mrs McVey's family made an emotional appeal for her to return.

Police confirmed yesterday that the body had been identified as Elizabeth McVey. A statement from her husband Michael and children Lynsey and Mark said: "Over the past ten days, we have been living in the hope that Libby would be coming home to us, and we are absolutely devastated that we will never see her again.

"Since she went missing, we have had tremendous support from the local community, whose messages of encouragement have kept us going during what has been an extremely difficult time. We would like to thank everyone for their kindness and support.

"Although she is no longer with us, we are left with fantastic memories of Libby, whose fun-loving nature and zest for life was an inspiration to all of us. She was a loving wife and mother, and a great friend to all who knew her. She will be sadly missed."

Canon Joseph McMullen, of Our Lady of Loretto Church, where Mrs McVey was an active volunteer, said: "She was a very generous person and very kind, and always willing to help. She had a great number of friends and they are very upset at her loss.

"The last ten days have been pretty horrible for everyone not knowing. Now there is just a tremendous sadness. There was never any sign that anything was wrong – and that is why it has come as such a shock to everyone. We don't really know what has happened."

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Earlier this week, Mrs McVey's daughter Lynsey said her mother was the kind of person "you want to be with". She said: "She's just the person you can always go to, the person that everybody phones and the person that everybody likes to have on a night out.

"On holidays, my mum's the person you want to be with. She's very bubbly. You see, when she's walking, she's always bouncing about; just a really nice person."

Husband Michael said her disappearance had "torn the life out of him".

Lothian and Borders Police will be carrying out further investigation and are still appealing for anyone who saw Mrs McVey before her death. A forensic investigation will be carried out, but police say there are no suspicious circumstances.

A police spokesman said: "Our thoughts go out to Elizabeth's family at this difficult time. The family have requested that their privacy is respected, so that they can grieve for Elizabeth in peace.

"We are still currently investigating the circumstances surrounding Elizabeth's death, and anyone with information that can assist our inquiries should contact police immediately."

East Lothian Council's chief executive, Alan Blackie, last night sent his condolences to the family of Mrs McVey, who worked for the council as a customer services officer. Mr Blackie said: "We were very saddened to hear this news and our thoughts are with Libby's family and friends at this sad time."