The ongoing search for missing RAF serviceman Corrie McKeague, 23, from Fife has taken a tragic new twist as devastating information has come to light.
It appears the weight of the load lifted by a bin lorry from bins in an alleyway in which Corrie went missing has been incorrect.
The true weight of refuse collected that night is now though to have been over 100kg – far more than the 11kg originally investigated and instead, tragically, close to his weight. Records traced originally suggested an 11kg load was too light to prove a body had been carried in the lorry.
Writing on the FindCorrie Facebook page, Corrie’s mother Nicola Urqhuart, from Dunfermline, said: “This can really devastatingly only mean one thing.
“I can only pray that Corrie is found quickly and that we are able to get answers as to how this could have happened.
“Please can I ask everyone on here to try really hard not to speculate just now. Each second waiting to find Corrie is torture enough.”
Police search teams commenced the search of a landfill site in Suffolk this week.
Suffolk police said on Tuesday, 7 March 2017 that a 26-year-old man arrested on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice as part of the missing person investigation has been told he will face no further action.
The 26-year-old was arrested on Wednesday, 1 March and interviewed about information provided to the investigation before being bailed. However, after more work by detectives, he has now been told he will face no further action.
Police said they have been carrying out extensive work to check and re-check data provided to officers.
As a result, it was discovered that the initial weight of the waste pick-up supplied to the investigation was incorrect and that the load was far higher than originally thought.
This led to the arrest as police moved to secure any potential evidence however, following further work and the interviewing of a second man under caution, detectives now believe there was no attempt to hide information.
Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott said; “Through the persistence of officers and their detailed work we recently identified that the data provided was incorrect.
“We now know the weight of the waste collection from the [alleyway] on the night Corrie went missing was over 100kg, when the original information we were given indicated that this was 11kg, and this makes our search of the landfill the next logical step to try to find Corrie.
“The investigation has identified that the company who provided the data usually charge per collection, not per weight of load collected, and it appears that it was genuinely believed by the company that the data provided was correct.
“There was no intention to mislead the investigation, however our discovery, through persisting with this through our enquiries and evidence gathering, now puts a new emphasis on the search.
“Corrie’s family have been made aware of this new information and we continue to liaise with them as we move forward.”
Corrie, who was based at RAF Honington, Suffolk, vanished after a night out in nearby Bury St Edmunds last September.
CCTV captured the last sighting of him walking into an area known as The Horseshoe – a deadend alley – around 3.25am on 24 September, but he never re-emerged.
Waste was collected from there shortly after and the bin lorry’s route appeared to mirror the movements of Corrie’s mobile phone until the signal ceased in the vicinity of the landfill site.