Corrie McKeague’s mother slams RAF airman’s father for saying his son is ‘no longer missing’ as she insists ‘we’re still looking for Corrie’
- Corrie McKeague’s mother has hit back at her son’s father over ‘untrue’ claims
- Corrie McKeague’s father said his son is ‘no longer missing’ on Monday morning
- RAF airman, 23, went missing in Suffolk on September 24, 2016 on a night out
- Mr McKeague said he ‘knows’ Corrie is ‘somewhere in the waste disposal system’
Corrie McKeague disappeared on a boozy night out in Suffolk in 2016 after it is believed he climbed into a wheelie bin to sleep
Corrie McKeague’s mother has hit back at her son’s father after he said the airman was ‘no longer missing’ and is ‘somewhere in the waste disposal system’.
Nicola Urquhart, 48, criticised Martin McKeague, 49, and insisted ‘we’re still looking for Corrie’.
The 23-year-old disappeared on a boozy night out in Suffolk on September 24, 2016, after it is believed he climbed into a wheelie bin to sleep.
Ms Urquhart said today: ‘We’re still looking for Corrie. Corrie is missing.
‘The police don’t know. They cannot categorically state Corrie is in a particular area but they just can’t get him.’
Police believe the Airforce Regiment gunner, who was based at RAF Honington, was scooped up by a bin lorry from a horseshoe-shaped storage area.
Officers last year sifted through more than 9,000 tonnes of rubbish at a landfill site at Milton, Cambridgeshire, but found no sign of his body.
Martin McKeague said in a lengthy Facebook statement on Monday: ‘Corrie is no longer missing. What we mean by this is that after looking at all of the facts and evidence we now know what happened to our son.
‘We are certain he is somewhere in the Suffolk waste disposal system, but his remains are essentially irretrievable.’
Mr McKeague went through the elements of the case, explaining why he was convinced his son’s remains were in the waste disposal system.
Nicola Urquhart, 48, criticised Martin McKeague, 49, and insisted ‘we’re still looking for Corrie’
His father Martin McKeague (pictured together) said in a lengthy Facebook statement on Monday: ‘Corrie is no longer missing. What we mean by this is that after looking at all of the facts and evidence we now know what happened to our son’
The father added: ‘We are certain he is somewhere in the Suffolk waste disposal system, but his remains are essentially irretrievable’
Pictured: Police searching an area of a landfill site in Milton, Cambridgeshire, for missing RAF gunner Corrie McKeague
Mr McKeague said the family felt Corrie was no longer missing but ‘his body is irretrievable because the remaining waste disposal environments are either too toxic to search’
The father said police had visited the family in Scotland last October and this February to review the investigation in detail, and the evidence was ‘thorough as it was compelling’.
Mr McKeague said: ‘That evidence had already been reviewed by independent experts in other police forces, who concluded beyond any doubt that Corrie had ended up in the Suffolk waste disposal system.
‘But unlike other missing persons investigations where they do not know where their loved one is or what happened to them, we do know what happened to Corrie and we have to accept that it is impossible to search those areas for him now.
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‘And accepting that conclusion has clearly not been easy for the McKeague family in Scotland, nor anyone else.’
Mr McKeague said the family felt Corrie was no longer missing but ‘his body is irretrievable because the remaining waste disposal environments are either too toxic to search’.
He also said the size of the landfill is so large, it would take years to sift through.
Mr McKeague said: ‘We still plan to hold a memorial for Corrie once this final stage of the process has been completed’
Suffolk Police announced last October that they would be extending the search at Milton landfill site in Cambridge (pictured) for missing Corrie
How has the search for Corrie unfolded?
September 24, 2016 – Corrie McKeague goes missing after a night out in Bury St Edmunds
September 26 – RAF Honington report disappearance to police
October 4 – It is revealed that his mobile phone had been tracked moving 12 miles away to Barton Mills hours after he was last seen
November 15 – Part of the A14 near Bury St Edmunds is closed while police carry out a roadside search
January 2017 – Corrie’s girlfriend April Oliver reveals she is pregnant
February – A search begins at a landfill site in Milton, Cambridge, amid fears Corrie jumped into a bin
March 1 – A man is arrested but later released without charge
June – Corrie’s daughter Ellie-Louise is born
July – Search of Milton landfill site is ended by police
October – Search is restarted at the dump as police focus on a new section of the site
November – A report by specialist officers concluded Mr McKeague was ‘most likely’ at the landfill site
December – Reward for information rises to £100,000. In the same month, the second search for him at the landfill site ends after police spent 137 days trawling through more than 7,000 tonnes of rubbish
January, 2018 – It is announced that search has cost £1.6million so far
March 26 – Police announce case has been passed on to cold case team
‘The father said no one else had been involved in Corrie’s disappearance and that he accepted that Corrie was inside a bin which was carted off by a lorry.
He wrote: ‘The Biffa bin that Corrie entered in the Horseshoe was the first on the route, with a recorded weight of 116kg; an unusually high number for this bin, which tells us our son was inside.
‘We’re explaining all of this to you because, once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
‘And the facts and evidence show Corrie didn’t walk out or leave the Horseshoe in any way other than the back of that Biffa bin lorry.’
He added: ‘This has been an unbelievable and horrific journey of grieve and acceptance for the McKeague family and we want to thank you all again for standing up and standing by us.
‘We still plan to hold a memorial for Corrie once this final stage of the process has been completed.’
The statement was signed by Mr McKeague and Corrie’s stepmother Trisha.
In April, police formally ended the active investigation and are transitioning it into a cold case file.
Corrie was last seen on CCTV at 3.25am on September 24 in 2016 as he walked into the refuse collection area in Bury St Edmunds.
He had previously been asleep in a shop doorway after leaving a nightclub.
Police quickly realised that the movement of his mobile phone signal matched that of the bin lorry which had picked up the contents of a Greggs bin.
The signal stopped when the lorry reached the Barton Mills area 14 miles away.
The rubbish was taken to a transfer station at Red Lodge. Records suggest it then went to the Milton landfill site.
The lorry was impounded, but no forensic clues linking it to Corrie were found. CCTV cameras also failed to capture images of him leaving the bin area on foot.
Bin lorry operator Biffa initially wrongly stated that records showed the wheelie bin behind Greggs had only contained around 11kgs of waste.
Officers repeatedly asked for the calculation to be checked and Biffa admitted last March that it had made a mistake and the bin contained more than 100kgs – enough to include a body.
A handout video image made available by Britain’s Suffolk Police showing 23-year-old Corrie of when he was last seen
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