Northern Ireland

Pat McCormick: Two arrested in murder inquiry

Pat (William) McCormick Image copyright PSNI
Image caption Pat (William) McCormick has not been in contact with his family since his disappearance

A murder investigation has been launched following the disappearance of a 55-year-old man from County Down.

Police said two people had been arrested over the murder of William McCormick, who was known locally as Pat.

He was last seen in Comber on the evening of Thursday, 30 May.

PSNI Det Ch Insp Pete Montgomery said: "Whilst I'm keeping an open mind, I now believe that Pat has sadly been murdered."

A 26-year-old man and 20-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping on Monday.

They were then re-arrested on suspicion of murder on Monday evening.

'Family deserve to know'

The pair remain in custody after a court granted permission to hold them for an additional 36 hours.

The police said Mr McCormick has not been in contact with his family since his disappearance.

He is described by police as being 5ft 3in in height, of medium build and with short dark hair.

"Pat was a father of four and his family deserve to know what has happened to him," Det Ch Insp Montgomery said.

"Today, I'm making an appeal for information about the circumstances leading to Pat's disappearance.

"I want to speak to anyone who saw Pat in his car or walking in the Comber area on 30 May.

"I want to know if he was with anyone? Where did he go?"

UUP councillor Philip Smith told BBC News NI there had been a police presence in the town for the past few days, but very little detail was known about the investigation.

Image caption Councillor Philip Smith said the murder had shocked people in Comber

"All we know at this stage is limited information that the police have shared," he said.

He added that the murder was a "terrible event that will shock people in Comber and the wider area".

"I'm sure everyone in Comber would join me to extend their deepest sympathies to the family of Mr McCormick," he added.