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Corrie’s dad: ‘My son is no longer missing’

PUBLISHED: 06:37 31 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:09 31 July 2018

Corrie McKeague in his RAF uniform

Corrie McKeague in his RAF uniform

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The father of RAF serviceman Corrie McKeague claims he now knows what happened to his son – who went missing after a night out in Bury St Edmunds.

Martin McKeague says his son “is no longer missing” and claims he is “somewhere in the Suffolk waste disposal system” after posting a statement on Facebook.

Mr McKeague said Corrie’s remains are “essentially irretrievable”.

Corrie, who was based at RAF Honington, was 23 when he was last seen walking through Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, in September 2016, after a night out with friends.

The theory that he had climbed into a bin and had been transported to a waste site led police to conduct two searches of a landfill at Milton near Cambridge last year, lasting 27 weeks in total.

Martin McKeague at an appeal for his son. He now claims to know what happened to the RAF airman Picture: ANDY ABBOTTMartin McKeague at an appeal for his son. He now claims to know what happened to the RAF airman Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

No trace of the airman was found.

Suffolk Constabulary announced that the search would be stood down on March 26 this year.

MORE: 14 key questions in the search for Corrie McKeague

In a lengthy post on Facebook, Mr McKeague said: “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.

Corrie McKeague on CCTV outside The Grapes pub in Bury St Edmunds Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYCorrie McKeague on CCTV outside The Grapes pub in Bury St Edmunds Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

“We are certain he is somewhere in the Suffolk waste disposal system, but his remains are essentially irretrievable.

“Prior to the formal announcement in April that the investigation had ended, Suffolk police came up to Scotland on October 3, 2017, and then on February 26, 2018, to meet with the family and review the facts of this investigation in exacting detail.

“The evidence presented to us on those occasions was as thorough as it was compelling.

“And 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.

Specialist officers searched the Milton landfill site in Cambridgeshire Pictures: GREGG BROWNSpecialist officers searched the Milton landfill site in Cambridgeshire Pictures: GREGG BROWN

“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.

“And accepting that conclusion has clearly not been easy for the McKeague family in Scotland, nor anyone else.

“That’s why we feel Corrie is no longer missing, but rather his body is irretrievable because the remaining waste disposal environments are either too toxic to search, and the size of Cell 22 is so vast that it could take years to do so in order to find out exactly where he came to rest.”

Mr McKeague added that plans for a memorial for Corrie are in place.

Corrie McKeague and April Oliver - photo courtesy of April OliverCorrie McKeague and April Oliver - photo courtesy of April Oliver

Mr McKeague’s Facebook post in full

“Hi folks,

“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.

Corrie McKeague in a picture uploaded by his mother. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDCorrie McKeague in a picture uploaded by his mother. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

“That is why we haven’t posted any updates here in several months. There has been no need to do so. However, despite the investigation into my son’s disappearance officially ending by formal announcement of the Suffolk police on 18th April, the administrative process involved to transition this into a “cold case” file with the Major Crime Review Team (MCRT) has taken much longer than expected.

“And that delay appears to have caused some confusion about what happened to Corrie, so we felt we needed to update you and clarify the facts.

“Prior to the formal announcement in April that the investigation had ended, Suffolk police came up to Scotland on October 3, 2017, and then on February 26, 2018, to meet with the family and review the facts of this investigation in exacting detail.

“The evidence presented to us on those occasions was as thorough as it was compelling. And 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.

“And accepting that conclusion has clearly not been easy for the McKeague family in Scotland, nor anyone else. That’s why we feel Corrie is no longer missing, but rather his body is irretrievable because the remaining waste disposal environments are either too toxic to search, and the size of Cell 22 is so vast that it could take years to do so in order to find out exactly where he came to rest.

“We thought there might be a small glimmer of hope for the McKeague family that a card reader could be used to identify the whereabouts of Corrie’s bank card in the landfill site.

“I myself searched the internet to see if that technology could help but found nothing to support that theory. It was also the view of the National Crime Agency and Suffolk Police, who informed us on the July 9, there is no technology currently available that can, in these case circumstances, undertake such a task.

“Nor will the continued creation of conspiracy, AWOL or other theories in the face of established and repeatedly audited facts reveal any new insights; that includes questioning the validity of things like the bin weight or the phone tracking that has been done.

“And we also know the vehicles that entered and exited the Horseshoe area in Bury St Edmunds where Corrie was last filmed walking into have all been ruled out of any involvement, just as every person in the area at that time has been spoken to (other than the “McDonald’s Man” who was deemed to have nothing to do with Corrie’s disappearance) and similarly eliminated from consideration.

“No-one followed Corrie into that Horseshoe area, nor is there any evidence or police suspicion of foul play, which is why that possibility has also been ruled out.

“Equally, the photos and evidence that we have been presented with conclude it was impossible for Corrie to have walked out of the Horseshoe unseen by inner or outer circle cameras, or have been otherwise given a lift in a vehicle.

“The first people to pass by where Corrie entered the Horseshoe never saw him. In fact, nobody saw him – a clear indicator that he had already entered the bin.

“And we are certain that Corrie was known to sleep in and on top of bins, a fact that has been corroborated by the Suffolk police from their interviews.

“As for the Biffa bin lorry, it only took approximately one minute and 36 seconds to drive in the Horseshoe, back up to the bin and pick it up, empty its contents into the hold, and then continue on its journey.

“The Biffa driver had nothing to do with my son’s disappearance. Sadly, forensics were done too late and the bin lorry waste was contaminated, so it was never going to be of any value.

“The police explained in detail why this was the case. There has also been confusion about the actual weight of the bin. It has been suggested that the weight of the Biffa bin was 11kg. It was not. That figure was for a different bin – the last bin on the lorry route to be emptied. 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.

“Finally, there have been no new enquiries and no further active investigative work undertaken by the police into my son’s disappearance because there are no further avenues to pursue.

“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.

“Unfortunately, as I’ve already said above, it’s now been over three months since the investigation officially ended on April 18 and we’re still waiting for what is now a purely administrative process to complete and for this to formally become a cold case file.

“That administrative process does not change that Corrie is in the Suffolk waste disposal system.

“We will soon have the opportunity to meet with an MCRT cold case officer and, should there be anything else to update you on from that discussion, we will do that here.

“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.

“Martin & Trisha”

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