Family's anguish as hunt for William McCormick is now murder probe
The family of a missing Co Down man say they are devastated after police said last night they had launched a murder investigation following his disappearance.
The PSNI said it had arrested two people following the disappearance of father-of-four William McCormick from Saintfield.
Known as Pat, the 55-year-old was last seen in Comber last Thursday evening, May 30.
A 26-year-old man and a woman, aged 20, were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping in the Comber area on Monday.
The woman was also held on suspicion of perverting the course of justice.
They were both rearrested on suspicion of murder on Monday evening and were in custody last night after a court granted police an additional 36 hours for questioning.
Posting on social media last night, one of Mr McCormick's children, Myles wrote: "I'm sure most of you have seen the news by now; my dad's disappearance has now become a murder investigation. I could not be more grateful for everyone who has went out and looked for him and kept an eye out.
"All the messages we've received have been so heart-warming!
"My whole entire family and family friends are devastated.
"If anyone knows any information or saw my dad please could you let the police know on the 101 number.
"Any information is crucial."
Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery said yesterday: "Whilst I'm keeping an open mind, I now believe that Pat has sadly been murdered.
"Ever since he was last seen five days ago, Pat has not been in contact with his family."
Mr McCormick is described as 5ft 3in tall, of medium build with short, dark hair.
Detective Chief Inspector Montgomery added: "Pat was a father-of-four and his family deserve to know what has happened to him.
"I'm making an appeal for information about the circumstances leading to Pat's disappearance.
"I want to speak to anyone who saw Pat in his car or walking in the Comber area on May 30.
"I want to know if he was with anyone? Where did he go?
"I am also asking if anyone has seen Pat, or had contact with him, since May 30 to let us know.
"I would appeal for anyone who has any information surrounding Pat's disappearance to contact detectives at the incident room at Musgrave Street on 101.
"We would also like to hear from anyone who captured any dashcam footage in the Comber area on Thursday, May 30 from around 8pm until midnight."