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Senior detective: 'Corrie McKeague didn't disappear on purpose'

Video report by ITV News Anglia's Serena Sandhu

A former detective has told ITV News Anglia he believes a third party was involved in the disappearance of RAF serviceman Corrie McKeague - who has now been missing for a month.

Colin Sutton was a senior detective for the Metropolitan Police, overseeing cases such as Milly Dowler's disappearance and subsequent murder. He retired from the force five years ago.

He does not believe that Corrie intentionally disappeared.

"Corrie was happy and had a happy life and it's hard to disappear without leaving a footprint with social media and banking and even making preparations leaves a footprint. My feeling is that's not the answer, he hasn't done this on purpose."

– Colin Sutton, Retired Detective Chief Inspector
Corrie McKeague has been missing for a month. Credit: Suffolk Police

The known sighting of Corrie is CCTV footage of him walking down Brentogovel Street at 3.25am on 24 September after a night out in Bury St Edmunds.

Colin thinks it's "unusual" that he evaded a number of CCTV cameras in the area.

"The mystery is that CCTV footage captured Corrie McKeague walking towards this area that's blocked off by a high wall and fence, but nothing was captured showing him leaving.

"I don't think he would've had the knowledge where the cameras were situated to avoid them on purpose so that plays into another theory around how did he come out of this cul-de-sac? Was he in a vehicle or did he climb over these walls?"

– Colin Sutton, Retired Detective Chief Inspector
Corrie's last known sighting was captured on CCTV. Credit: Suffolk Police

Corrie sent a text message just after 3am on the night of his disappearance.

The phone was switched off hours later at Barton Mills around 13 miles away. It coincides with the movements of a bin lorry seized by Suffolk Police.

Despite extensive searches of the area, nothing has been found.

"The fact it went off at Barton Mills was the reason the police searched the rubbish tip, as the phone was communicating there.

"The fact it hasn't been found is unfortunate but searching places like that is very difficult."

"My guess is the most likely reason for this is that there were other people or a person involved."

– Colin Sutton, Retired Detective Chief Inspector

Corrie's family are actively trying to help detectives search for him, but there are still many unanswered questions.

Police have the ongoing task of finding the missing pieces to the puzzle to explain how a 23-year-old could seemingly vanish without a trace.

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