Police Service of Northern Ireland announced that the body of James Patterson has finally been found since he went missing in 1991. Last month, a car was pulled out of the River Bann. Inside the car were human remains that were speculated to be those of the elderly man. Examination of the remains confirmed the identity of the deceased. Police are not treating the death as suspicious. Only one of Patterson's siblings is alive to hear the news.

On October 6, 1991, Patterson had gone to church in the morning. After visiting the church, he went to Mid Ulster Hospital in Londonderry. One of his friends was admitted at the hospital so he had gone there for a visit. After Patterson left the hospital, he failed to return home. The hospital was the last place he was seen.

His family reported the 54-year-old missing soon after. For the next 29 years, the family waited to hear any news about the man. Police were unable to find Patterson until his body was finally recovered from a river.

On Saturday, July 19, 2020, local Community Search and Rescue spotted a car submerged in the River Bann at the New Ferry Road in Bellaghy. The vehicle was pulled out of the water. The Ford Orion held the key to the mystery of the missing man. Belfast Live reported on July 20 that human remains had been found in the submerged car.

The body was sent for forensic examination. Weeks after the discovery was made, the identity of the man found in the car had been confirmed by the police.

A spokesperson from the Police Service of Northern Ireland confirmed that the remains belonged to the man who went missing 29 years ago. They stated that the Patterson family had been informed of the results. No suspects are being sought as the death is not being treated as suspicious.

The Sun reported that Patterson's mother had passed away a short while before he went missing. He used to live with his mother until her death. Since he went missing, six of his seven siblings passed away. His sister-in-law, Mildred, said that the family always wondered what had happened to Patterson. Her husband died seven years before his brother was finally found.

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Remains of man missing since 1991 found in submerged car. (representational image) Thomas B Shea/AFP