Suffolk

Corrie Mckeague search petition signed by 21,000

Corrie Mckeague Image copyright Suffolk Constabulary
Image caption Police began searching for the airman at the landfill site in March

More than 21,000 people have signed a petition calling on police to continue searching a landfill site for a missing airman.

Corrie Mckeague, 23, was last seen in Bury St Edmunds in September.

On Friday, Suffolk Police confirmed it had ended its search of waste at Milton landfill, near Cambridge.

His mother Nicola Urquhart has urged the force to reconsider and is considering seeking an injunction to stop the site being backfilled.

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The RAF serviceman from Dunfermline, Fife, has not been seen since a night out in the Suffolk town when CCTV showed him entering a bin loading bay.

"Let us help financially, let us help physically searching, or ask the military to assist them," she said.

"But do something, don't just walk away if that's where they think he is."

"The biggest fear we have is that they're handing the landfill back and it's going to start being filled in before we've had the opportunity to understand what's happened, why they've just suddenly stopped."

Image caption Thousands of tonnes of waste have been searched and sifted at the landfill site in Milton

Mrs Urquhart said her appeal for the search to continue "doesn't diminish" her gratitude for what police have done so far, but claimed "there are other things that could be done".

"The picture in my head is that Corrie is literally one more lorry load away from being found in that landfill, or he is one more lorry load away from the police being able to turn round and say 'we know Corrie is not in this landfill now' and that's the sort of answer we should be getting."

An online petition calling for the search "to continue until he is found or the area is thoroughly searched" was set up on Friday.

It passed the 20,000 signature mark on Sunday. The petition's founder Kelly Morris hopes to get 25,000 signatures.

Mr Mckeague's father Martin staged a protest by blocking the entrance to the waste site with his motorhome for a short period of time.

"I am calling on the police to continue the search. I want to thank the police for everything they have done and I know how hard it has been for them," he said.

"I have voiced my concerns and I had to come up here and block the entrance. I want the search to carry on. I hope the police make the right decision."

Det Supt Katie Elliott said the landfill search for Mr Mckeague had been "systematic, comprehensive and thorough".

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