Police divers have found the body of a father-of-four in a Co Down lake.

William (Pat) McCormick, 55, was last seen alive in the Comber area on 30 May.

His body was found in a lake in the Ballygowan area on Tuesday afternoon, detectives revealed today.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland had launched a murder inquiry following Mr McCormick's disappearance.

An anonymous tip led them to conduct searches in several lakes in the Ballygowan area over three days prior to the discovery.

Detectives believe Mr McCormick was killed in or around the vicinity of flats in Castle Street, Comber.

Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery, who is leading the investigation, encouraged the person who provided the information to come forward to speak to him directly - though he said he would respect their decision if they chose not to.

Mr McCormick's wife Alison issued a statement through the PSNI.

"I would like to thank the Comber community for all their help and information that they have given police to help recover Pat," she said.

"Myself and his four children are truly thankful."

Mr McCormick's brother Harry also thanked the public for their support.

"The last six weeks have been devastating for his parents, brothers, wife and beautiful four children, however, we are grateful to now have Pat home for our final goodbyes and burial," he said in a statement.

Harry McCormick added: "We know the PSNI are doing everything they can for us and Pat to get justice."

Police have conducted 38 searches to date and spoken to 235 witnesses.

Six people have been arrested during the course of the investigation, all of whom were subsequently released on bail pending further enquiries.

DCI Montgomery said: "While finding Pat's body brings to an end some of the distress caused to his family they now want to see those responsible brought to justice."