Police searching a landfill site for missing RAF gunner Corrie McKeague say “no trace” of the serviceman has been found.
Suffolk Police Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott said officers sifted through 6,500 tonnes of waste in an “unprecedented” search for the 23-year-old.
She said: “Our thoughts are with Corrie’s family as we had hoped that this search would have provided them with the answers about what happened to him. Sadly we have not found Corrie, or any trace of his clothing or mobile phone.”
The search of a landfill site to find anything related to missing Corrie McKeague will be completed this afternoon - https://t.co/bilsydCxEw— Suffolk Police (@SuffolkPolice) July 21, 2017
Mr McKeague, from Fife in Scotland, vanished after a night out with friends in Bury St Edmunds on September 24 2016.
A bin lorry was seen on CCTV near Brentgovel Street in the town around the time Mr McKeague was last seen, and it took a route which appeared to coincide with the movements of his phone.
The bin lorry linked to the disappearance of Mr McKeague was initially thought to have collected an 11kg (1st 10lb) load, but police said it was later found to be more than 100kg (15st 10lb).
Officers started searching the landfill in early March and police said the search has cost more than £1.2 million to date.
Search at the site was stood down on Friday afternoon.
Ms Elliott 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.
“On CCTV he appears to be alone and we have traced and spoken to everyone who walked through Brentgovel Street around the relevant time, and none of them have seen anything suspicious.
“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 inquiries 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.”