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Milton landfill search for missing RAF airman Corrie McKeague begins

By Gemma Gardner

Corrie McKeague
Corrie McKeague

Detectives hunting missing RAF serviceman Corrie McKeague have begun to search the landfill site at Milton today (Monday).

The search begun after extensive preparatory work including building access routes to the search area, moving 8,000 tonnes of material and placing facilities at the location, was completed.

The 23-year-old, who was based at RAF Honington, has been missing since September 24. He was last seen at about 3.25am after a night out in Bury St Edmunds.

Detective superintendent Katie Elliott said: “The search is likely to take six to ten weeks to complete, although this will obviously depend on daily progress on the site.

“We have a large area – around 920 square metres, up to a depth of eight metres – of waste to search through and a plan has been put in place to manage this process to ensure a thorough and comprehensive search is undertaken.”

The work will be carried out by teams of specialist search trained police officers from Suffolk and Norfolk.

“In planning the search, we have taken into account not only the need to find Corrie, but also factors including the noise, odour and disruption implications for residents and site workers, and the safety and welfare of the officers who will undertake the search.

“We know that physically searching the site has the potential to cause an increase in odour and we have taken steps to reduce this as much as possible,” added Det Sup Elliott. “We need to find him and discover what happened to him. While the search may not provide the answers as to what happened it is something we need to do as our investigation continues.”

Since Corrie was reported as missing, police have been working through all possibilities to discover where he is.

One of these lines of enquiry has been in respect of waste collections from the area, known as the horseshoe, around the time of the last sighting of Corrie.

It was known, and CCTV shows, that a waste lorry made a collection in the area a short time after the last confirmed sighting of Corrie and the lorry was seized in the early stages of the enquiry for forensic examination. This did not reveal any traces of him, however the waste collection has been one line of enquiry police have persisted with and kept under constant review.

A man was arrested and bailed on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice last week.

Anyone with information about his disappearance is asked to call the incident room at Suffolk Police on 01473 782019.


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