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Car found in River Bann could be linked to 1991 disappearance of man, says police

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Police and emergency services recover a Ford Orion from the River Bann that could be linked to the disappearance of James Pattersonon in 1991 on July 19th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Police and emergency services recover a Ford Orion from the River Bann that could be linked to the disappearance of James Pattersonon in 1991 on July 19th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Police and emergency services recover a Ford Orion from the River Bann that could be linked to the disappearance of James Pattersonon in 1991 on July 19th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Police have carried out a recovery operation to retrieve a car from the River Bann that could be linked to the disappearance of a man in 1991.

The car was discovered at the New Ferry Road in Bellaghy on Saturday by the local Community Search and Rescue team.

Police believe the car, a Ford Orion, is potentially linked to long term missing person James Patterson.

"Once the vehicle has been removed from the water, it will be subject to forensic examinations," a PSNI spokesperson said.

Police, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and Community Rescue were all at the scene on Sunday.

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Police and emergency services recover a Ford Orion from the River Bann that could be linked to the disappearance of James Pattersonon in 1991 on July 19th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Police and emergency services recover a Ford Orion from the River Bann that could be linked to the disappearance of James Pattersonon in 1991 on July 19th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Police and emergency services recover a Ford Orion from the River Bann that could be linked to the disappearance of James Pattersonon in 1991 on July 19th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Mr Patterson, aged 54 and from the Magherafelt area, went missing on October 6 1991.

He was last seen visiting someone at Mid Ulster Hospital that evening.

It's understood Mr Patterson was driving a blue green Ford Orion car on the night of his disappearance.

Belfast Telegraph