Belfast Telegraph

Missing Belfast man William McCormick had been accused of stalking

The social media post on William McCormick which accused him of harassment
The social media post on William McCormick which accused him of harassment
A CCTV image of him at the scene
The street where he was last spotted on May 30
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

A missing Co Down father-of-four who police believe has been murdered had faced accusations of stalking a woman almost a year ago, it has emerged.

Last summer William McCormick , who hasn't been seen for 11 days, was accused of pursuing the woman for three years.

The allegations were posted by the woman on social media in July 2018 alongside a photograph of the ex-soldier and church caretaker.

The woman claimed that Mr McCormick had sat outside her place of work and sent her messages and unsigned cards.

"If he doesn't stop now I will be building a case for the police.

"Enough is enough," she wrote.

Police said "it would be inappropriate to comment at this time" when contacted yesterday.

Mr McCormick, originally from Saintfield and known locally as Pat, was last seen at around 10.45pm on Thursday, May 30.

The 55-year-old's disappearance was escalated to a murder inquiry due to "a change in his lifestyle", police have said.

It has emerged that Mr McCormick's elderly mother knew where he was going on the night he vanished but police say they cannot reveal his planned route.

Investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery told Sunday Life: "His mum had been aware of his plans and he was in contact with her.

"There has been a change of lifestyle which sits outside the norm that would be expected of Pat," he added.

Police are to carry out further searches in the coming days for Mr McCormick using specially trained search teams.

Officers have released CCTV footage of his final movements as he drove his black Citroen C4 car down Castle Street in Comber and later crossed the road before going under an archway leading to flats.

Mr McCormick has short, dark-brown hair, is 5ft 3in in height and of medium build.

He was last seen wearing a beige jacket, blue jeans and brown brogues.

DI Montgomery has said the local community may hold vital information to establish the circumstances surrounding Mr McCormick's disappearance.

He urged anyone who sees any discarded clothing in the area matching this description to contact police.

A 26-year-old man and a woman aged 20, who were rearrested on suspicion of murder by the PSNI, were later released on bail pending further enquiries.

On Friday, two men aged 20 and 39 who were arrested on suspicion of assisting offenders and perverting the course of justice were also released on bail pending further enquiries.

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