The family of missing RAF serviceman Corrie McKeague has launched a fundraising bid to pay for a private detective after branding police “incompetent”.
A Just Giving page has been set up to raise £20,000 to fund work relatives claim Suffolk Police are not capable of resourcing.
The 23-year-old airman, who comes from Dunfermline, has not been seen since he vanished after a night out with friends on September 24.
He was last spotted on CCTV walking into a loading bay area of the town at 3.25am.
It is believed he was trying to make his way back to his base at RAF Honington.
The online page, set up by family friend Cheryl Hickman on Tuesday night, has already raised more than £15,000 after 1,330 people donated.
It reads: “The police investigation team, through a combination of lack of resources, intransigence and incompetence have failed to capture and process vital evidence and still lack the basic resources to efficiently process a tiny number of phone calls per week.
“After so many weeks of managing this search, Corrie’s mum Nicola and his brothers Makeyan and Darroch are not desperately seeking your assistance to allow them to continue the search.”
The money raised will fund the appointment of a private investigator and a data analyst to collect, collate and analyse all the information gathered so far.
It will also pay for phone numbers and a computer.
In addition, some money will cover the costs of Nicola, Darroch and Makeyan maintaining a presence in Bury St Edmunds.
The page added: “The family are committed to keeping these costs low.
“We desperately need your help to be able to bring Corrie home.”
If the serviceman is found, any donations left over will either be used for his care or donated to charities, including the local search team Sulsar.
Earlier this week, Corrie’s grandparents revealed they were offering a five figure reward for any information leading to his return.
They called on the public to help end “10 weeks of torture and torment”.
Suffolk Police temporary assistant chief constable Louisa Pepper said she was confident in her team of officers and that the force was using an “inordinate” amount of resources in the hunt for Corrie.