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Summary

  1. Updates on Friday, 21 July 2017
  2. Secret Garden Party festival under way near Huntingdon

Live Reporting

By Adam Jinkerson

All times stated are UK

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  1. Early stages of the investigation into Corrie's disappearance

    Airman Corrie Mckeague was first reported missing when he failed to turn up for parade at RAF Honington on Monday, 26 September.

    It was thought he may have attempted to walk back to the airbase 10 miles away after a night out in Bury St Edmunds.

    Horseshoe area of Bury St Edmunds

    A couple of days later, CCTV footage was released showing the gunner in the Brentgovel Street area of the town in the early hours of Saturday, 24 September.

    A search was subsequently carried out on the road between the base and Bury St Edmunds.

    Search of roadside

    But there was no trace of him leaving an area in Brentgovel Street known as the "horseshoe".

    Andy King, chairman of Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue, who'd been enlisted to help the police, said: "We always start looking in the place they were last seen, and in Corrie's case, that was the 'horseshoe'."

    Mr King continued: "We did a very detailed search of a 200 metre [656ft] radius around the area, but it turned up absolutely nothing.

    "That's not unusual, though, so then we continued to plan our search and come up with possibilities of what might have happened to him."

    Diagram showing area known as the horseshoe
  2. Corrie Mckeague's mum 'devastated' after search called off

    The mother of missing RAF airman Corrie Mckeague says she is devastated that the search is going to be called off without finding him.

    Nicola Urquhart told the BBC that although she believes the search teams have put in a lot of effort, she "tried really hard" to put her trust in them.

    Nicola Urquhart

    "There's a lot that I agree with that's been said, like the amount of work that's been carried out," she said.

    "I do believe that if Corrie was there, they were going to find him.

    "To say I'm devastated that they're now saying they think he's still in there, but they're going to stop searching... I can't begin the explain how that makes me feel."

  3. Corrie's father thanks those who've supported the search

    Martin Mckeague, writing on his Facebook page, has thanked people who have "stood up and supported" the efforts to search for Corrie "and who have stayed strong and not fallen for the erroneous suggestions of any criminal activity in the search for my son, or the cynicism, gossip, and speculation in the media that has unfortunately littered this process from day one".

    "It has been difficult enough without all of that," he said.

    Martin and Trisha Mckeague

    Mr Mckeague (pictured during a previous interview) said the family in Scotland has never doubted the police's reasoning for, nor the timing of the search of the Milton landfill site.

    "The police have prioritised their efforts based on facts, not speculation," he said.

    "And anyone who suggests otherwise is, in our opinion, committing the ultimate act of disrespect – it's like a slap in the face to the people who have given so much of themselves in the search for Corrie."

  4. Corrie Mckeague 'search cannot continue'

    In a press conference, Suffolk Police confirmed the search at Milton landfill for missing RAF airman will end.

    "Without anything further to tell us where he might be, on such a vast site, the search cannot continue," said Det Supt Katie Elliott.

    Video content

    Video caption: Police confirm that the search at Milton landfill for missing RAF airman, will end.
  5. Mckeague family 'devastated', says father

    The father of Corrie Mckeague says the Mckeague family in Scotland is "devastated" by today's announcement that the search of the landfill site in Milton has come to an end.

    Martin Mckeague

    Writing on his Facebook page, Martin Mckeague continues: "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.

    "But we are, as a family, somehow going to get through this together.

    "We would like to express our deepest thanks to the volunteers from the Norfolk and Suffolk police for their heroic efforts over the past 20 weeks in searching the landfill site at Milton for my son.

    "We know that these volunteers have done everything possible to try and find my son, and we will owe them a debt of gratitude for the rest of our lives."

  6. Police still confident missing airman is in landfill

    Alex Dunlop

    BBC Look East

    Essentially we came to the press conference today to be told one of two things; either that the search was continuing for Corrie Mckeague, or that it was ending.

    They have now called off that search as there is no trace of him - essentially the trail at Milton landfill has gone cold.

    They've gone through 6,500 tonnes of rubbish over a 20-week period, extended from an initial 10 weeks.

    Ten months after he disappeared, in an investigation that's cost £1.2m, they are no closer to knowing how he disappeared than at the end of September 2016.

    Alex Dunlop

    I was at the landfill when they started the search and police said at the time they were confident of finding him.

    Suffolk Police have said they are commissioning a review of the work that they have completed since the start of the investigation to see if anything can be done and that they remain open-minded.

    Police are still confident that his remains are in the landfill, but they are saying this is not a criminal investigation.

    Searching the landfill is effectively a new science for police because as they've been digging down they've found material has shifted. They say they have found material that's relevant to the time and the place Corrie disappeared, but then the trail has gone cold.

    Initially there was consternation that they didn't search the site from the outset, but the police said they were told by the bin company that the bin weighed 11kg (1.7st) over. They then found out five months later it was 116kg, more than 15st - the weight of a human body.

  7. Q&A session reveals possibility of incineration

    At a question and answer session following the statement by Det Supt Katie Elliott, she said: "There were other bins in the area [of Brentgovel Street in Bury St Edmunds] and some of the bins in the 'horseshoe' area were incinerated and not taken to landfill.

    "The waste that went through the incinerator is preserved in order that we can review that to see if there's anything that might give us any information about Corrie."

    Corrie Mckeague

    Ms Elliott said the decision to halt the search of the landfill site was "a big milestone", adding: "Every hope has been on finding Corrie at this landfill site and I can only imagine that it must be devastating not to be able to find him.

    "I had every confidence that we were going to find Corrie in the landfill site."

  8. 'We expanded Corrie search'

    Suffolk Police said the search for Corrie Mckeague was expanded several times in response to new evidence.

    Video content

    Video caption: The search for Corrie Mckeague was extended, Det Supt Katie Elliott said
  9. Key places in Corrie Mckeague search

    The search for Corrie Mckeague has taken place over two counties - Suffolk, where he went missing, and Cambridgeshire, where it is suspected he ended up.

    Corrie map

    He was a gunner at RAF Honington and went missing after a night out in Bury St Edmunds - the nearest big town.

    It is believed he fell asleep in a bin and the refuse lorry took him to Milton landfill site, near Cambridge, 28 miles away.

  10. 'Unprecedented search' for Corrie Mckeague

    Det Supt Katie Elliott, of Suffolk police, said the search for Corrie Mckeague was "unprecedented" and based on "compelling evidence".

    Video content

    Video caption: A police force said its search for Corrie Mckeague was "unprecedented"
  11. The part played by CCTV in the search for Corrie

    Police say the initial CCTV work gave detectives searching for missing RAF serviceman Corrie Mckeague a good picture of who was in the area at the relevant times.

    They obtained a number of witness statements which corroborated each other.

    CCTV image of Corrie 2

    Speaking at the press conference, Det Supt Katie Elliott continued: "Police have been looking at what may have happened, including whether Corrie got into the bin himself or whether it may have been physically possible for someone to have lifted someone of Corrie's build into the bin, between the last confirmed sighting at 3.25am and the bin lorry collection around 4.18am, and whether there could have been an accident or any criminal activity.

    "Officers have also looked at Corrie's previous behaviour and have spoken to friends and colleagues about his actions during and following a night out.

    "Suffolk Police have commissioned a review of the work completed since the start of the investigation to see if anything further can be done to trace Corrie McKeague.

    "We remain open-minded and should this review reveal further lines of enquiry that will help us find Corrie we will pursue them vigorously."

  12. '6,500 tonnes of waste searched'

    Police say they have gone through 6,500 tonnes of waste in search for Corrie Mckeague at Milton landfill lasting 20 weeks.

    The search, which began on 6 March 2017, saw police look through rubbish that arrived at the site between 16 September and 3 October.

    No trace of the missing RAF airman was found.

    Video content

    Video caption: Police say they have searched 6,500 tonnes of waste in hunt for Corrie Mckeague
  13. 'Extremely sad' that Corrie hasn't been found - police commissioner

    The police and crime commissioner for Suffolk, Tim Passmore, says in a statement: "It is extremely sad that the mystery surrounding Corrie's whereabouts has not been resolved.

    "My thoughts are with Mrs Urquhart [Corrie's mother] and Mr McKeague and their families; I cannot even begin to understand what they have been going through since their son's disappearance."

    Corrie Mckeague

    Mr Passmore continued: "The officers that have been involved in this search have worked tirelessly for months, in very difficult circumstances.

    "I know they will be disappointed not to have found Corrie, but I know that the constabulary has done all it can locate him and I'd like to express my thanks, on behalf of the communities I serve, to them all.

    "This is the biggest missing person enquiry that the constabulary has undertaken."

  14. Search has been one of the 'most complex' of its type

    The search of the site at Milton near Cambridge has been "one of the biggest and most complex searches of a landfill site in the country", say police.

    "This search process has been reviewed as it has been carried out and what we have learned and the expertise gathered during the search is now being called upon by other constabularies."

    Milton site
  15. 'Nothing to support any theory other than that Corrie was in the bin'

    Speaking at a press conference earlier this afternoon, Det Supt Katie Elliott said the search for Corrie Mckeague at Milton landfill site had been very thorough.

    Corrie Mckeague

    She said: "The investigation behind-the-scenes hasn't stood still while the search has been carried out, but all the information we have still points to the fact that Corrie was transported from the 'horseshoe' area in the bin lorry.

    "Having been through all of the possibilities in detail, there is nothing to support any theory other than that Corrie was in the bin.

    "There are no further sightings of him on CCTV to suggest he left the area and we have explored the other possibilities as to how he left - such as being taken from the area by someone - and there is no evidence to support that this is the case.

    "We know that Corrie's phone travelled away from Bury St Edmunds at the same time as the bin lorry that collected waste from Brentgovel Street.

    "The theory that Corrie was in the bin that was emptied into the bin lorry shortly after he was last seen is strengthened by credible information that we have obtained through our enquiries, that Corrie had been known to go to sleep in rubbish following a night out.

    "We've explored every other reasonable hypothesis - and there is nothing to support any other explanation."

  16. Search for Corrie Mckeague called off: Press conference round-up

    Press conference
    • Search called off from 15:00 today
    • Police contacted Milton landfill site near Cambridge on Monday, 3 October 2016 - a week after Corrie was reported missing, with search of the site beginning on 6 March 2017
    • 6,500 tonnes of waste sifted through in "unprecedented search" lasting 20 weeks - about a 14th of the whole amount of waste the site accepts in a year
    • No trace of missing RAF airman or any trace of his clothing or mobile phone
    • Items including newspapers and other material from September 2016, when Corrie went missing, have been found - including those that indicate they have come from Bury St Edmunds
    • Several mobile phones, footwear and items of clothing have been found and each one of these items has been checked to ensure it did not belong to Corrie
    • "All the work we have carried out, particularly around the weight of the bin lorry collection, points to Corrie being taken to the landfill site," say police
    • "The search has been complex, systematic, thorough and comprehensive. Throughout the process the work being completed has been reviewed by national experts."
  17. Why the search for Corrie has been called off

    Det Supt Katie Elliott explained the reason for calling off the search of the landfill site at Milton for Corrie Mckeague, saying: "We have searched over 6,500 tonnes of waste, excavating a huge area.

    "Without anything further to tell us where he might be on such a vast site the search cannot continue.

    "Officers have been finding items such as newspapers and other material that have September 2016 dates on them.

    "This is the time that Corrie went missing.

    "Some items have been clearly identifiable as coming from Bury St Edmunds and this has confirmed that we have been searching in the right place, however none of these items have had any link to Corrie.

    "We have also found items such as mobile phones, footwear and clothing and each one of these items has been checked to ensure it did not belong to Corrie.

    "We have completed the search of the area where we know waste was deposited in this period.

    "In fact, we have searched an area that is larger than was originally designated.

    "The work was initially extended to include areas containing additional waste dated in the correct time-frame and was further extended in response to new information regarding the location of further relevant waste.

    "Sadly, we have not found Corrie or any trace of his clothing or mobile phone."

    Corrie Mckeague