Mum's touching tribute to 'kind' Natalie one year on from her tragic disappearance

The mum of a South Shields woman who disappeared into the sea over a year ago say she imagines her ‘dancing with the mermaids’ in a touching tribute.

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 7:00 am
Pictures show Natalie McIntyre and with her mum Linda Lindsay.

The world could learn a lot about kindness from Natalie McIntyre says mum Linda Lindsay, one year on from the beloved 31-year-old’s disappearance.

In February 2020, Natalie left her home in Mill Dam, South Shields, and was last seen on CCTV heading towards the beach but footage never shows her return.

Although she remains classed as missing, police believe she entered the sea after an extensive, but ultimately unsuccessful, search was carried out.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Natalie with mum Linda Lindsay

Her heartbroken family is still struggling to deal with the knowledge they may never find her body.

Natalie suffered with mental health issues and schizophrenia but, although it caused the tragedy, never defined her as a person.

"Natalie was the nicest of people, anyone who met her – whether she knew you or not – she was interested in you,” said Lindsay. "She would always ask how other people were first.

"People talk a lot about ‘be kind’ and she could have taught others a lot - being kind was her default setting.

Natalie McIntyre

"She was very funny, very quick witted – she was always quick with the one liners. She was entertaining to be around.

"She had a giggle that would make you just laugh – it was so infectious.

"She was just Natalie."

Linda says seeing missing appeals where police later find a body appear to becoming more common.

Linda Lindsay (pictured) says she imagines her daughter 'dancing with the mermaids' a year after her disappearance at the beach in South Shields

The 59-year-old mum said: "Their heartbroken parents and families now know what’s happened and they have them back.

"I didn’t have that and I don’t know what it feels like to experience it. I don’t know if this is better or worse than my version of her dancing with the mermaids.

"I’d like to think we could find her but the ocean is such a big place, she could be anywhere.

"There are people who have been missing for years and years and they have never been found. We have got to try and get in our heads that she may not be found although that will be some kind of closure. We have to deal with the fact she may well not turn up.”

Read More

Read More
Drivers could be hit by record fuel prices of 143p per litre

The pandemic and lockdowns have meant family and friends haven’t been able to gather to remember Natalie, who was last seen on February 11, 2020, for occasions such as what would have been her 32nd birthday in April, 2020.

But Linda says she and Natalie’s siblings, Christopher and Laura, have received nothing but support from family, friends and even strangers.

Now the mum is urging other to check on friends and family who may be struggling, especially during the difficult times caused by the pandemic, in the hope of preventing another tragedy.

"If it’s taught us anything it’s to ask how the other person is and not to take ‘I’m fine’ – make sure you ask and follow through,” said Linda.

"Hopefully if someone listens to her story and it makes them go ‘I’m going to ask that person how they are’ it could save another life.”

Support your Gazette and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.