The father of missing Fife airman Corrie McKeague has spoken of his ongoing anguish at his son’s disappearance – but believes he will be found “sooner rather than later”.
Martin McKeague has been camped out at a landfill site in Milton for several weeks now as search teams continue to scour the area in the belief that the 23-year-old gunner will be found there.
Corrie has not been seen since he was on a night out with friends in Bury St Edmunds on September 24, and was last spotted on CCTV footage at around 3.30am.
Fears his body may have ended up in a bin lorry and transported to the Milton landfill site are being investigated by police, and almost 6,000 tonnes of rubbish have been searched through to date.
As the operation continues, Martin, 48, has taken to social media to thank everyone involved in the search – and those who have supported the family – for their patience as the anxious wait for news going on.
“It occurred to me today while standing with my wife on the southern precipice of the Milton landfill site, both of us staring down into the scraped and scoured bowels of this now stadium-sized pit under a darkening sky, that there will be an end to all of this one day,” he said.
“An end to the search for my son here. An end to shovelling our way through the days and hours with only hope and distractions to keep us sane. And an escape from the panic-twitch that grips us as each late-afternoon phone update arrives from the Suffolk police to say yet again that the day’s digging and raking efforts have yielded ‘nothing new’.
“And Trisha and I now know that it’s very likely an end to the search for my son here will arrive sooner rather than later.”
Martin added that he and his wife Trisha had been “humbled” by people who have been patient and had stood by them throughout the ordeal.
“It’s been your courage, and that of the Norfolk and Suffolk police force volunteers, that’s helped Trisha and I to get this far,” he continued.
“That solidarity is what has made even standing at that cliff edge looking down into a landfill site where my son’s body remains hidden – an inconceivable emotional torture for any father – somehow possible to endure.”
Martin also praised volunteers and Norfolk and Suffolk Police for searching in at times atrocious conditions, highlighting the “dank heat and humidity” the search teams have been operating in of late.
“Still we stood there, staring down onto the sweat-soaked police volunteers who seemed to simply ignore the sudden change in weather, going about their day’s labour with the type of dedication that simply commands respect,” he added.
“The Norfolk and Suffolk police continue to find enough in the daily searches to keep looking for Corrie here…for now.
“So now we wait, and then we wait some more.
“We take every opportunity afforded to us to meet with, shake the hands of, and show our respect face-to-face to every volunteer that arrives here to search this hellhole on our behalf.
“And we know that when this part of the search is over that we will be able to count on all of you for whatever happens next.”