Suffolk police answer key questions around Corrie McKeague disappearance in Bury St Edmunds (Part 2)
PUBLISHED: 23:52 26 January 2017 | UPDATED: 08:44 30 January 2017
Following on from yesterday’s Q&A with Suffolk Constabulary about the Corrie McKeague investigation, here are further questions the force has answered, including some posed by Corrie’s mother Nicola Urquhart.
Q: Why was there a delay in buildings in Short Brackland being searched, opposite the alleyway where Corrie was last seen?
A: From the start of the investigation the question was asked where could Corrie be. One of the early things that happened was police carried out visits to properties in the area, to see if there was any CCTV and to see if there was any way Corrie could have accessed the property – i.e. were there any break-ins or points where he could have got in unseen. Searches were carried out in this area and over the course of the investigation these have been re-visited to try to ensure nothing was missed. Police do not have an automatic right of search; however many businesses and private individuals have been extremely helpful in allowing officers access to search properties. All of this work was carried out alongside appeals for anyone with information to come forward and for local businesses and residents to check their properties and out-buildings.
Q: How much work is done in conjunction with the private investigation team hired by Corrie’s family?
A: The company has been employed by Nicola Urquhart and they are working independently of the police. Any information the company chooses to pass to the police will be considered as part of the ongoing inquiry. No information from the police investigation is passed to the private investigation team.
Q: Why were there no door-to-door searches carried out in the vicinity of where Corrie was last seen?
A: Door-to-door visits have been conducted in this vicinity. Visits were conducted to premises in the first few days to gather CCTV and extensive door-to-door work was carried out to visit premises – both businesses and private homes. In some cases premises have also been re-visited or searched again, to check and re-check – something that is not unusual under these circumstances. There will be further house-to-house taking place as, even after this time, this tactic can still be beneficial to an investigation – revisiting those spoken to previously to see if there is anything further they can recall.
The following questions have been posed by Corrie’s mother Nicola Urquhart.
The first relates to when Corrie was asked to leave Flex nightclub by the bouncer. Nicola has said the police told her initially the bouncer hugged Corrie, however this was a mistake and that bouncer was in fact from Wetherspoons, where Corrie had been earlier on the night. While the Flex bouncer had not hugged Corrie, they had got on well and she emphasised she had watched the CCTV footage and had no issue with the fact Corrie was asked to leave Flex. She said she wanted the matter cleared up so the public did not think there was anything being concealed.
Q: Was there a mistake made in identifying the CCTV footage showing Corrie being asked to leave Flex nightclub by the bouncer?
A: Police have never put this information into the public domain as we’re not commenting on individual interactions with Corrie on the night he disappeared. If this is the impression that was given to Corrie’s family then we apologise, however it was never our intention to mislead, simply to convey that this was good natured, as per interviews with the door staff at the venue that have been conducted by various media outlets. There was an incident where he was hugged by door staff at another venue earlier in the evening.
Q: Does CCTV of Corrie in Hughes’s doorway on the night he vanished show him using his phone? Someone received a message from Corrie at 3.08am but it is not clear if that’s when it was sent.
A: We cannot see him send the message on CCTV. Everything we have at the moment suggests the time it was sent from Corrie’s phone was 3.08am, however there remains the possibility that he could have sent it earlier in the evening and due to connectivity it did not go through immediately and that the message then went through automatically when the phone reconnected. However as Corrie is seen later than this on CCTV it does not take the inquiry any further forward. We know that this was a photo message and we have spoken to the person who received it.
Q: Are there going to be any other people from CCTV footage the police are going to look at getting identified in connection with Corrie’s disappearance?
A: There are a small number of people that still need to be traced, but the vast majority of people in the area have now been identified and spoken to. Officers have been working to identify everyone who was there in the early hours of September 24 but have to do this in a logical and systematic way. We have issued CCTV to a wider audience where other inquiries have not revealed the identity of an individual. Work continues to identify those who have not yet been traced and, if it’s appropriate and suitable images are available, these will be issued by officers.