1. ITV Report

Corrie McKeague: Mother of missing RAF serviceman 'now knows' her son is not in landfill

Nicola Urquhart says she now accepts her son is not in the landfill. Credit: PA

The mother of missing RAF Serviceman Corrie McKeague says she "now knows" that her son is not in a Cambridgeshire landfill after Suffolk Police decided to end their latest search of the site.

Police restarted a search of the area at Milton back in October, but have still found no trace of him.

Mr McKeague was last seen on a night out in Bury St Edmunds in September 2016.

Officers were looking into the theory that he climbed into a bin and was taken away by a lorry to the site, but they will now focus on other lines on enquiry.

Corrie McKeague went missing in September 2016. Credit: Suffolk Police

Following the announcement, Corrie's mother Nicola Urquhart said that she now accepts that police have done everything they can at the landfill.

  • Nicola Urquhart's full statement

Today sees the conclusion of the search of cell 22 at Milton landfill.

From the first day that myself, Makeyan and Darroch stood in the horseshoe and saw the industrial bins, we have consistently asked for that line of enquiry (theory) to be investigated and ruled out.

We have continually asked for this to happen, not because we have ever truly believed Corrie was in there, but it has always been the simplest explanation as to what may have happened to Corrie.

There are many things I can do to help in the search to find Corrie but I have always known that searching the landfill was and would never be something I could or would be allowed to do myself. That would have left us in the torturous situation of left imagining that Corrie may have just been left there. Once all other lines of enquiry are exhausted if this didn't find Corrie, I don't think as a mother I could ever come to terms with not knowing if Corrie was in that landfill.

Our gratitude to Suffolk and Norfolk MIT for following this line of enquiry to what is most certainly beyond reasonable levels is unwavering.

This is the first time in this investigation I have been updated and completely agree that nothing else can be done in relation to searching cell 22.

The search team have carried out an extremely physical and emotional task. I would hope that the invaluable knowledge they have now gained can be used with other forces should any other family find themselves in our position.

I know how hard they have tried to find Corrie and we will never be able to thank them enough for their efforts.

What I can say is my complete trust in Vince and his team leaves me certain that had Corrie been in that landfill, they would have found him.

The peace of mind they have given me is immeasurable. I will no longer picture my son in that landfill.

I have been assured that I will now be given updates as to what lines of enquiry have been investigated already and that these along with any thing else that is a reasonable line of enquiry will now be tested again or investigated.

The investigation to find Corrie is still very much a live investigation, we are still a very long way off saying that all that can be done has. From the start, we have said Corrie is still in the area. He left on foot or left on a vehicle. We now know Corrie is not in the landfill. Thank you,

Nicola, Makeyan, Corrie and Darroch x x x x

– Nicola Urquhart's, Corrie's mother
Corrie's father Martin McKeague sheds a tear at the landfill site back in July. Credit: ITV News Anglia

In a separate statement, Corrie's father Martin McKeague thanked police for their "tireless" efforts.

"The McKeague family would like to extend its heartfelt appreciation and our lifelong debt of gratitude to the Norfolk and Suffolk police forces, the Major Investigation Team (MIT), the multitude of Police volunteers who worked tirelessly at the Milton landfill site, the Site Owners, the Jones Brothers Excavation team, the wonderful people of Suffolk and the surrounding areas for their support and efforts and everyone closer to home who have stood up and stood by us, and allowed us to get through the darkest moments of this horrific event," he said.

"This family would have been lost without all of you and we have been humbled by your support and concern.

"This has been our sentiment from the beginning of this search and it will continue until the end."

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