For 29 years the mystery surrounding the disappearance of James Patterson has hung over the Co Londonderry village of Tobermore.
Last seen on October 6, 1991, the 54-year-old had visited a friend in the Mid Ulster Hospital in Magherafelt before vanishing without trace.
Tobermore is a place that never forgets its own.
So when a car matching the vehicle Mr Patterson was last seen in, a blue/green Ford Orion, was pulled from the River Bann at popular tourist and angling spot New Ferry near Bellaghy last weekend, the memories came flooding back.
"I remember it so well," said Rev William McCrea, who was MP for the area at the time.
"It's strange, but just last week I was talking to someone in the town and we were reminiscing, wondering whatever happened to James.
"James was so well-known in the area.
"I knew him from his involvement not only in the community, but by his association with Black and Orange lodges in the district.
"He was always the sort of man who called a spade a spade. You knew where you stood with James, a real character who everyone knew well, and not a person you would forget in a hurry.
"But Tobermore was that sort of quiet, rural place where families all knew each other and looked out for each other.
"When he went missing I remember the whole community rallying round, the searches. It was a different time then, of course. There was no social media to help. You relied on people on the ground going out onto the streets looking.
"There was a real cloud over Tobermore in those days but there was never a trace found of what happened to him. To this day people still mention his name and wonder."
In October 1991 the south Derry area was, like the rest of Northern Ireland, gripped in one of the worst periods of the Troubles. A missing person was secondary news.
"The people in the community were still doing everything they could to try and find James," said Rev McCrea.
"I remember the frantic checking of bank statements to see if any money had been withdrawn from his account, but there was nothing. And there really wasn't much more people could do other than to physically get out and look. For the residents in Tobermore and the people around the Mid Ulster area, it was an extremely anxious time."
He said he hopes that the development might finally give the wider Patterson family some peace.
"To have something like this come out of the blue, after so many years, is difficult to comprehend," he added.
"There would have been a certain amount of shock amongst the family, and indeed the community across the district, when the discovery was made.
"No one wants to know a much loved family member is dead, even after all these years, but there is a sense of hope for his family that they will, if nothing else, finally have some news of what happened to James.
"The wider family circle of James are still living in the area and our thoughts are with them as they wait for news.
"Whatever comes next, there will naturally be more questions to follow. There might be an answer to what happened, but the answer to why may never be known.
"For now I just pray that the family can get some comfort and closure after such a long time of not knowing."
The Ford Orion Mr Patterson is believed to have driven to the Mid Ulster Hospital that Sunday evening was discovered by the local Community Search and Rescue team. The PSNI confirmed last night that the recovery operation was still ongoing.
"Once the vehicle has been removed from the water it will be subject to forensic examinations," police said.