Suffolk

Corrie Mckeague: 'Nothing found' in airman landfill search

Corrie Mckeague Image copyright Suffolk Constabulary
Image caption Police began searching a Cambridge landfill site for Corrie Mckeague in March

An airman who disappeared 10 months ago was "known to sleep in rubbish on a night out", police have said.

Corrie Mckeague, 23, has not been seen since a night out in Bury St Edmunds last September, when CCTV showed him entering a bin loading bay.

Suffolk Police has confirmed its search of waste at Milton landfill was at an end.

Mr Mckeague's family say they are "devastated" at the news and disputed claims he would have slept in a bin.

Live updates: Reaction following Corrie Mckeague press conference

The tortuous search for Corrie Mckeague

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Media captionDet Supt Katie Elliott, of Suffolk Police, spoke at a press conference in Martlesham, near Ipswich.

Police said all the information "points to the fact Corrie was transported to the landfill".

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

She said: "Corrie had been known to go to sleep in rubbish on a night out. There is no evidence to support any other explanation at this time."

Image copyright BBC/Nicola Urquhart
Image caption Corrie Mckeague's girlfriend April Oliver (centre) announced the birth of their baby daughter on Father's Day

Responding to the news, Corrie's father Martin Mckeague posted a statement on his Facebook page saying: "The McKeague family in Scotland is devastated by today's announcement.

"At no point did we think that the search of the site would end this way, and as all the evidence tells us that Corrie is somewhere in that landfill site, we are heartbroken at the thought that we may not be able to bring Corrie home together."

His mother Nicola Urquhart said: "I have tried really to put my trust in them (the police) but to say I am devastated that they are now saying they think he is still in there but they are going to stop searching, I cannot begin to explain how that makes me feel."

She said she did not believe there was evidence he slept in bins and was "angry" at the claim.

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Media captionRAF airman's movements in Bury St Edmunds

Det Supt Elliott said police had spoken to one witness who had previously found Mr Mckeague asleep in a bin and he had been known to previously sleep on park benches, in toilets and stair wells.

Although material from the time and place of Mr Mckeague's disappearance has been found at the landfill, the serviceman, from Dunfermline, Fife, has not been discovered.

In June, Mr Mckeague's girlfriend April Oliver, from Norfolk, gave birth to their daughter.

The police investigation had established early on that Mr Mckeague's mobile phone tracked the same route, and at the same pace, as a bin lorry on the night of his disappearance.

But initial inquiries found the rubbish truck was carrying a load of 11kg (1st 10lb), suggesting Mr Mckeague was not on the refuse truck.

Then in March it emerged the true weight of the truck contents was more than 100kg (15st 10lb).

The error was a "genuine mistake", Suffolk Police said.

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Media captionCorrie Mckeague's mother, Nicola Urquhart, spoke of her anguish as the search for the airman was ended

Corrie's mother, Nicola Urquhart, said the initial assurance from police that he was not in the bin lorry had been "the one thing that was giving me hope that he was still alive".

Police say they will now search previously incinerated waste and carry out a review of the investigation for any fresh leads in the case.

Corrie Mckeague: A timeline

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Media captionCorrie Mckeague: Key events in search for missing airman
  • 26 September, 2016: Mr Mckeague is reported missing after he does not turn up to parade at RAF Honington
  • 4 October: It is revealed Corrie's mobile phone had been tracked moving to Barton Mills hours after he was last seen
  • 5 January, 2017: Money raised through crowdfunding is used to hire McKenzie Intelligence Services
  • 9 January: It is revealed Corrie's girlfriend April Oliver is pregnant with his baby
  • 6 March: The landfill search begins
  • 6 April: Corrie's father Martin speaks of his vigil at a campsite close to the landfill site
  • 21 July: Officers announce the end of the landfill search having found no sign of Mr Mckeague.

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