Police investigating the murder of William (Pat) McCormick have confirmed that a body recovered from a lake near Ballygowan yesterday is that of the 55-year-old Co Down man.
Following a post mortem examination, Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery confirmed the body found is that of Mr McCormick.
“Today I can sadly confirm it is the body of Pat McCormick,” he said.
“First and foremost my thoughts are with Pat’s family as they come to terms with this.”
The body was recovered from a lake by specialist divers on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr McCormick, a father-of-four, was last seen alive in Comber on the evening of Thursday, May 30.
His wife Alison issued a statement of thanks through the PSNI.
“I would like to thank the Comber community for all their help and information that they have given police to help recover Pat,” she said.
“Myself and his four children are truly thankful.”
Mr McCormick’s brother Harry also thanked the public for their support.
“The last six weeks have been devastating for his parents, brothers, wife and beautiful four children, however, we are grateful to now have Pat home for our final goodbyes and burial,” he said in a statement.
“A massive thank you to everyone for their support and prayers, especially the public of Comber. As a family in mourning we would now ask for privacy.”
Harry McCormick added: “We know the PSNI are doing everything they can for us and Pat to get justice.”
Police have conducted 38 searches to date and spoken to 235 witnesses.
Six people have been arrested during the course of the investigation, all of whom were subsequently released on bail pending further enquiries.
DCI Montgomery said: “While finding Pat’s body brings to an end some of the distress caused to his family they now want to see those responsible brought to justice.”