A media appeal about a missing man was at the back of an angler's mind when he found a car in a Co Fermanagh lake that led to the discovery of a body, the man's son has said.
The family of missing Tony Lynch now face an agonising wait of several weeks to find out if human remains discovered in the car recovered from Upper Lough Erne earlier this week are those of the father-of-four.
The vehicle was discovered on Monday in Lough Corradilar, near Lisnaskea in Fermanagh, during searches for Mr Lynch, who disappeared 18 years ago.
The car, believed to be Mr Lynch's white Mitsubishi Galant, was discovered by two fishermen who were aware of a renewed search of lakes and quarries along the border.
The 54-year-old was last seen on Fermanagh Street in Clones on January 6, 2002.
He was reported missing almost a week later.
Mr Lynch had moved from Magheraveely in Fermanagh to a flat in the Co Monaghan town for work just two months before he went missing.
Earlier this year his family renewed their appeal for information on his disappearance.
Closure and clarity is all that we as a family have ever wanted and hopefully this has brought us one step closer to thatPeter Lynch
Mr Lynch's son Peter said the family may not know the outcome of DNA tests being conducted on the remains by forensic scientists for a few weeks.
Peter, who was only 10 when his father disappeared, added: "Closure and clarity is all that we as a family have ever wanted and hopefully this has brought us one step closer to that. We would just like to thank everyone for their hard work which has led up to this point, in particular the gardai in both Clones and Monaghan, the PSNI, and civil defence volunteers for the hard work they have put into the new search that has led to this moment.
"We are also grateful to the media for continually supporting our story and all the appeals for information down the years, which has kept the search alive.
"This coverage is what alerted the two fishermen who detected the car in the water with the sonar technology on their boat.
"By constantly refreshing people's memory, my father came to mind when they knew that something wasn't quite right.
"One of them told me that the new search back in January and the media coverage surrounding it meant my father's disappearance had stayed in the back of his mind," Peter added.
The PSNI said the vehicle was located underwater by police divers and later recovered.
The PSNI added: "We are liaising with colleagues from An Garda Siochana, who are investigating Mr Lynch's disappearance."
The discovery followed numerous searches in the Monaghan and Fermanagh areas.
Last January some 10 lakes and flooded quarries in the area were checked by gardai with the assistance of the civil defence and local sub aqua groups.