Suffolk

Corrie Mckeague: Sixty tonnes of waste a day searched for airman

Corrie Mckeague Image copyright Nicola Urquhart
Image caption Gunner Corrie Mckeague (front) is based at RAF Honington in Suffolk

Detectives searching for missing airman Corrie Mckeague have sifted through more than 800 tonnes of rubbish at a landfill site.

The airman, from Dunfermline in Fife, vanished while on a night out in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on 24 September.

A bin lorry collected refuse a short time later from the area the RAF Honington gunner was last seen.

Mr Mckeague's father Martin said the "long wait" to find his missing son was "heartbreaking".

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He said: "We're six months down the line that Corrie went out and it hasn't got any easier.

"I think now all the leads are leading to Corrie being in the landfill site.

"It's the unknown. Its just been horrendous, there are no words for it."

Image copyright Terry Harris
Image caption Specialist officers have so far trawled through at least 845 tonnes of rubbish at the Milton landfill site

Suffolk Police said officers were trawling through 60 tonnes a day at the site in Milton, near Cambridge.

The search is now in its third week and is expected to take up to 10.

A team of eight trained search officers is searching more than 920 sq m (1,100 sq yd) of waste to a depth of 8m (26ft) and has trawled through 845 tonnes so far.

Despite earlier claims, police said the decision to search the site was not prompted by data provided by an intelligence firm, hired by Mr Mckeague's family.

Image copyright Paperpix.uk
Image caption Vast swathes of the landfill site near Cambridge will need to be checked

Mr Mckeague's mother Nicola Urquhart brought in McKenzie Intelligence Services after she expressed concerns with the police investigation.

Its managing director Forbes McKenzie said data provided about Mr Mckeague may have helped direct police to the landfill site.

But, police said they had planned to search the site before it was revealed a bin collected from the area where Mr Mckeague was last seen was heavier than first thought.

A spokeswoman said: "Officers have been liaising with the company that provided the [bin weight] data to check and re-check the information provided.

"This has involved them going back through thousands of lines of raw data to check the information, leading to the error being found.

"This was not in any way linked to data provided by MIS, the private company employed by Nicola Urquhart."

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Media captionCorrie Mckeague: Search continues at landfill site

Mr Mckeague, 23, was last seen at about 03:25 BST on 24 September.

Police seized a bin lorry in the early stages of the investigation, but no traces of Mr Mckeague were found in the vehicle and the landfill site was not searched at the time.

Its route appeared to coincide with the movements of Mr Mckeague's mobile phone.

Image caption A bin was emptied less than an hour after Mr Mckeague was last seen in the area on CCTV
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The search at the landfill site at Milton in Cambridgeshire has so far taken three weeks

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