THE hunt for missing Ardrossan man Tony Lowey appears to have ended in tragedy after police discovered a body in Irvine this week.

Police officers have confirmed that they believe the body is that of the 51-year-old, missing since Christmas.

His sister Joanne Lowey posted on social media: “Closure equals peace of mind. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Another family member posted: “My uncle Tony was found yesterday. Unfortunately he’s no longer with us.

"To say I’m heartbroken is an understatement.”

Officers were called at around 4.30pm on Monday, March 12 after the body was found in marshy ground near to Redburn Caravan Park.

Police remained on the scene yesterday as investigations were carried out at Ravenspark Golf Course and forensic teams trawled the area for clues.

The golf course was closed until investigations were completed.

A spokeswoman from Police Scotland said: “At around 4.30pm on Monday, March 12, police responded to a report of the body of a man found within water in marshy ground near Redburn Caravan Park in Kilwinning Road, Irvine. Emergency Services attended and the body was recovered.

"No formal identification has taken place, however officers believe the body recovered  is that of 51 year-old Anthony Lowey.  A post mortem examination will be carried out in due course, however, the death is not being treated as suspicious.  A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.  

"Mr Lowey’s relatives have been made aware."