Police searching for RAF gunner Corrie McKeague trace potential witness

February 17 2017, 3.23pmUpdated: February 18 2017, 7.39am
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Police investigating the disappearance of RAF gunner Corrie McKeague have traced a potential witness from CCTV and are searching for two more people.

Mr McKeague, 23, from Fife, vanished while on a night out with friends on September 24 in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.

Suffolk Police have identified a cyclist spotted around the time Mr McKeague was last seen, and are renewing appeals to find an older man and a person seen walking through the Brentgovel Street area of the town at around 5.15am on September 24.

In another strand to the investigation, Suffolk Police said a landfill site in Milton, Cambridgeshire, would be trawled once the search area has been made safe, with 8,000 tonnes of bulk material removed.

CCTV shows that a waste lorry made a collection in the area Mr McKeague was last seen shortly after the last confirmed sighting of him.

The lorry’s route appeared to coincide with the movements of Mr McKeague’s phone, but police said the vehicle’s load weighed less than 33lb (15kg) and forensic examinations found no trace of him in the lorry.

In a separate development, Suffolk Police said officers had been provided with information by a private investigation firm employed by Mr McKeague’s mother Nicola Urquhart, and data was being reviewed.

Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott said that work to find Mr McKeague was continuing both in preparation for the landfill site search and in the inquiries being made.

“The work to trace Corrie remains a priority and we are continuing to progress our investigation as the work around the site search is being planned,” she said.

“It was initially hoped that the search could start next week, but the logistics of building access routes and ensuring the area is safely accessible for those who will be carrying out the work mean further preparatory activity will need to be done first.

“This is a considerable task and we need to ensure everything is in place before officers begin the process of going through the waste in the landfill.

“We have been liaising with Corrie’s family around the timescales involved and, while we can’t confirm a start date, this preliminary work will be completed as quickly as possible, so the full scale search can take place.

“Our aim from the start was to find Corrie and we have been carefully going through all lines of inquiry in detail, checking and re-checking information that has been passed to us to discover what happened.

“We continue to receive assistance from a range of partner agencies, including the RAF, and we are very grateful for their continuing assistance.”

Police have identified a search area covering more than 920 square metres, with waste up to eight metres deep.

It is estimated it will take a team of specialist search-trained police officers six to 10 weeks to complete the work required.

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