Pat McCormick’s heartbroken parents have issued a plea for help to "bring him home for a proper burial” almost four weeks on from his disappearance.
The statement, issued on behalf of his family, comes as a £10,000 reward is offered for information that leads to the recovery of his body.
His family statement reads: “We would like to give a massive thank you to the PSNI and all the volunteers for all their hard work in trying to find Pat and get justice for him.
“We as a family are heartbroken and devastated at the loss of our Pat.
“We ask for further help and information to bring him home for a proper burial that Pat and us deserve.”
Detective Chief Inspector Pete Montgomery, who is leading the probe, added: “Pat’s elderly mum has told me she can’t face eating since her son disappeared – and they wake up each morning wondering if this will be the day we find his body.
“Pat’s family deserve to have his body back and give him a proper funeral – they deserve to be able to say goodbye and lay him to rest and I am hoping this reward provides an incentive for anyone who knows where he is to bring that information forward to police or to Crimestoppers where you are guaranteed absolute anonymity.
“They deserve some peace – please do the right thing.”
Police have released a new picture of a mobile phone cover like Pats.
DCI Montgomery added: “I would also like to make an appeal for people to look out for Pat’s distinctive mobile phone flip cover – black with red stripes. I’ve released an image of an identical cover.
“His iPhone SE still remains unaccounted for too. It could be broken, smashed or in pieces.
“And I would like to trace the movements of a blue Ford Transit van which was travelling on the Old Ballygowan Road in Comber at around 2pm on Friday 31st May.
“I’ve carried out a number of land and water searches and detectives continue to examine hundreds of hours of CCTV footage.”
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Pat should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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