Body of missing Belfast man Michael Cullen found at Cavehill

The thirty-three year old Ulster University employee had been missing for 3 weeks

The body of the thirty-three year old Ulster University employee, Michael Cullen, was found today, three weeks after he went missing from his Belfast home on Tuesday 9 January.

Michael's brother Niall made the devastating announcement in a post in the family's Facebook group Help Find Michael Cullen, which had been joined by over 4,500 people.

He said: "It's with the heaviest of hearts that I have to tell you that Michael has been recovered from Cavehill mountain a short time ago. The specialist rescue team are now bringing him back to his family home.

Despite all of our best efforts over the past 3 weeks, tragically it is not the outcome that all of us wished and prayed so hard for.

Michael was a highly talented guy as those who saw him perform will testify to, but he was also a much loved son, brother, cousin and friend to many whose hearts are now broken. I can only hope he will look down on us and see the huge amount of love we all had for him.

The Cullen family wish to thank everyone for their valiant efforts in trying to bring Michael home… we will never forget this!"

Michael's family and friends had bravely pursued in the efforts to find Michael and set up a Justgiving page to raise money to help bring him home.

The families appeal touched thousands of people across the country with members of the public volunteering to raise awareness of the search campaign and the family Facebook page receiving daily messages of support and ideas on how to spread the search.

Image may contain: Beard, Person, People, Human

Known as 'Cull' to his family and friends, hundreds of moving tributes have been paid to the missing North Belfast man following the announcement.

Detective Inspector Natalie McNally said: "Police can confirm that the body of a man has been found in the Cavehill area of north Belfast this afternoon, Wednesday 31 January.

A formal identification and post mortem examination will take place in due course however at this time police are not treating the death as suspicious."

Hundreds of messages of support and sympathy have already been posted on the family's Facebook page.

Queen's University Belfast