Belfast Telegraph

Two men held over missing Pat McCormick are released

PSNI officers search a field beside a bungalow on the Magherascouse Road, Ballygowan
PSNI officers search a field beside a bungalow on the Magherascouse Road, Ballygowan
Pat McCormick

By David Young

Two men arrested in connection with the murder of missing Co Down man Pat McCormick have been released.

A 20-year-old was arrested in Moneyreagh, and a 32-year-old in nearby Ballygowan.

Both were later released on police bail, pending further enquiries.

It came as land and water-based searches took place yesterday involving officers using specialist victim recovery dogs.

An underwater search team were also searching for the body of ex-soldier Mr McCormick (55), who is from Saintfield.

Yesterday's arrests bring to six the number of people arrested during the PSNI murder probe, which has stunned the Co Down village.

Police believe that Mr McCormick was murdered on May 30.

A CCTV camera captured grainy images of him driving his car in Comber before he was spotted on foot.

The footage shows Mr McCormick walking down Castle Street and passing under an archway that leads to a block of flats.

The married father of four has not been seen since.

Crimestoppers is offering a £10,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of Mr McCormick's body.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery said yesterday: "I believe Pat was murdered in or around the vicinity of flats in Castle Street, Comber sometime after 10.45pm on Thursday, May 30.

"CCTV footage shows him walking across Castle Street, where he goes under an archway that leads to some flats.

"This is the last sighting of him anywhere.

The senior police officer repeated his call for anyone who had any information about what happened to Mr McCormick to come forward, adding: "Any information could prove vital.

"I would like to make a particular appeal in relation to the movements of a blue Ford Transit van which was spotted on the Old Ballygowan Road in Comber at around 2pm on Friday, May 31.

"I am grateful to the community for their response to our appeals and to Crimestoppers for the provision of a reward of £10,000 for information that leads to the recovery of Pat McCormick's body."

Searches of lakes along the Magherascouse Road were also taking place yesterday.

The six people arrested so far in connection with the murder probe include four people - three men aged 20, 26 and 39 and a 20-year-old woman - detained last month in connection to the investigation and later released on bail.

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