Search for Derry dad-of-three scaled down after Gardai find body
Distraught friends of a missing man have expressed their sympathy for the plight of his family after a body was found close to where his vehicle had been abandoned.
Messages of condolence for father-of-three Steven McCloskey (33), who had not been seen in his home city of Londonderry for several days, swept across Facebook after the discovery just over the border in Donegal.
His partner of 15 years Sinead is expecting the couple's fourth child. She was recently taken to hospital due to the stress of the situation and was kept in for observation.
While the identity of the body had not been officially confirmed by the authorities last night, many social media users believed the worst.
Among those distraught at the news was Caoimhe McConnell, who said: "Tears are tripping me as this is so sad and shocking."
Mr McCloskey was last seen on Tuesday, October 28 in the Ard Grange area of Derry. Despite appeals from his family there has been no sign of him.
The body was found at Carrowreagh at Bridgend in Co Donegal yesterday afternoon.
Mr McCloskey's black Nissan Terrano 4x4 had previously been found abandoned in Burt not far from where the body was found.
Gardai who had been involved in the search for Mr McCloskey would not confirm that the body was that of the missing man.
All they would say was that a body had been found and taken to Letterkenny Hospital where a postmortem examination will be carried out this morning. Gardai also refused to say whether they death was suspicious or not.
The missing man's family have made numerous appeals for him to contact them since his disappearance almost a fortnight ago.
There have been widespread searches on both sides of the border involving the PSNI, Garda, and Foyle Search and Rescue.
A Garda helicopter was also used to search fields in the Burt area after the vehicle was found.
Following the finding of the body it is believed that search, which included family and friends, has been scaled down.
The alarm was first raised when Mr McCloskey failed to return to celebrate Halloween with his partner, two sons and daughter.
His family grew increasingly anxious when his 4x4 was found abandoned.
His sister Lisa McCloskey put up posters around the surrounding areas in a bid to jog the memory of anyone who may have any information about her brother.
She told the Belfast Telegraph last week that every day he remained missing it was getting worse for her family, who were desperate for information.
She said: "We're not good, we are getting worse now as the days go on.
"It's unbearable what we are going through, we just want him home.
Lisa added: "The wains are missing their daddy so much and so is Sinead, the whole family are missing him."