In Brief

Corrie Mckeague: missing airman ‘in Suffolk rubbish system’

RAF gunner’s father says he believes his son’s remains are ‘essentially irretrievable’

The father of RAF gunner Corrie Mckeague, who vanished in September 2016 after a night out in Bury St Edmunds, says that the family now considers it “beyond any doubt” that his remains are in the Suffolk waste disposal system.

“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,” Martin Mckeague wrote in a Facebook update yesterday.

The younger Mckeague, a gunner stationed at RAF Honington, was seen on CCTV cameras entering a loading bay in the town centre after a night out with friends and has not been seen since.

An exhaustive investigation followed multiple avenues of inquiry, including the possibility of foul play, but detectives concluded that there was no compelling evidence of third-party involvement.

Instead, it is thought that he climbed into one of the large bins belonging to nearby shops and fell asleep.

A bin lorry collecting refuse from the loading bay the following morning registered a weight of 113kg from one bin, an unusually heavy load which supports the theory that Mckeague was inside.

Police searched a landfill site at Milton, Cambridgeshire twice in 2017, but no trace of the missing airman was ever found. The search was officially called off in April this year.

However, Martin Mckeague says that the evidence presented to the family has made them “certain he is somewhere in the Suffolk waste disposal system”.

Paraphrasing Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1890 novella The Sign of the Four, he said: “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

The vast area which would need to be searched, including toxic dump sites, mean that his son’s remains are “essentially irretrievable”.

He has previously spoken of his fears that the 23-year-old might have acted deliberately after getting the unexpected news that he was to become a father.

“I just can’t help thinking this would have weighed on him heavily and he may have actually chosen to get in that bin that night knowing what would happen,” Martin told the Daily Mirror in March.

“It’s as probable as anything else and it makes it no less heartbreaking.”

The family plans to hold a memorial for Corrie at a later date. 

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