Northern Ireland

Pat McCormick murder: Minister calls for community help

Pat McCormick Image copyright PSNI
Image caption Pat McCormick, from Saintfield, has not been in contact with his family since his disappearance

A minister has called on people to help the police investigation into the murder of a missing County Down man.

William McCormick, known as Pat, was last seen in Comber on Thursday, and the 55-year-old has not made contact with his family since.

Canon Ian McDonald said he was praying people might "do everything possible to help police solve this awful tragedy".

A 26-year-old man and 20-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

They were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping on Monday, and were then re-arrested on suspicion of murder later the same day.

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

Image caption Canon Ian McDonald said he was praying for the McCormick family

Canon McDonald said he was praying for the family and hoped that nothing like this would happen in the community again.

'Deserve to know'

Det Ch Insp Pete Montgomery issued an appeal for information.

Police said Mr McCormick had last been seen on Castle Street in Comber at about 22:30 BST driving his black car.

"I know he parks his car up on High Street and it sits there until police recover it on 1 June," he said.

CCTV footage released shows Mr McCormick crossing Castle Street and through an archway.

"I am obviously very keen to recover Pat's body for his family," said Det Ch Insp Montgomery

"His mother and father and wife are devastated. His parents are in their 80s. They are all very keen to get his body back," he added.

Image copyright PSNI
Image caption CCTV footage released shows Mr McCormick crossing Castle Street and through an archway

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

"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?"

Mr McCormick is 5ft 3in tall, of medium build with short dark hair.