No trace of missing RAF gunner Corrie McKeague as landfill search ends
Mr McKeague was last seen walking through Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, in September 2016 after a night out with friends.
The landfill search for missing RAF gunner Corrie McKeague has concluded without finding any trace of him.
A 20-week search of the site at Milton near Cambridge finished earlier this year, and a second search, lasting seven weeks, finished on Monday.
More than 2,800 tonnes of waste was searched during the second phase.
Suffolk Police said the investigation into Mr McKeague’s disappearance would remain open.
Mr McKeague was 23 when he was last seen walking through Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, in September 2016 after a night out with friends.
It is thought he may have climbed into a waste bin and was taken away by a bin lorry, prompting the landfill search.
A Suffolk Police spokesman said: “Police are content Corrie is not in the landfill areas which have now been searched.
“The inquiry team has identified all the other possible locations where waste has been deposited from the area in Bury St Edmunds known as the ‘horseshoe’ and there are no further realistic search opportunities at this time.
“As previously stated, the nature of waste disposal and its movement is not an exact science.”
A review of the investigation to date agreed that it was most likely that Mr McKeague ended up in the waste disposal process.
Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott said: “We are still committed to continuing with the inquiry.
“There are a number of other theories about what could have happened to Corrie and we are continuing to test the evidence to help us understand what happened to Corrie, which will assist in providing answers to his family.
“We feel it is important to explain to the family what we are doing, so they have the opportunity to understand and question what we have done, and why we have done it.
“We are acutely aware of the immense strain the last 15 months has placed upon Corrie’s loved ones.”
Mr McKeague’s mother Nicola Urquhart said she was confident that if her son was in the landfill, the search team would have found him.
“We now know Corrie is not in the landfill,” she said, adding that the search for her son is “still very much a live investigation”.
His father Martin McKeague said the family sent their “heartfelt appreciation” to all involved in the search.
Mr McKeague, from Fife but based at RAF Honington in Suffolk, was last seen on CCTV at 3.25am on September 24 2016.
His girlfriend, April Oliver, announced in June that the missing serviceman had become a father with the birth of their daughter.