14 key questions in the Corrie McKeague investigation – and Suffolk police’s response

Corrie McKeague with his puppy

Corrie McKeague with his puppy - Credit: Archant

Many questions have been raised about the disappearance of Corrie McKeague following a night out in Bury St Edmunds in September 2016. Read Suffolk police’s response to 14 key questions about the investigation here.

Nicola Urquhart with sons Mackeyan and Darroch McKeague. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Nicola Urquhart with sons Mackeyan and Darroch McKeague. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

1. Why didn’t you find any sign of Corrie if the two areas searched on the landfill site were the likeliest areas where he could have been?

The records relied upon are not comprehensive and lack the detail required to identify precise search areas. Investigative enquiries identified the landfill site areas where Corrie was most likely to be. This does not rule out the possibility of him being elsewhere within that site or indeed at another landfill site.

2. Why didn’t police enlist the help of specialist search teams from the army to help search the Milton landfill site?

All landfill searches undertaken by specially trained search officers. Using the RAF was considered, however they were unable to offer any specialist capability beyond our own resourcing.

Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott speaking at a press conference on the Corrie McKeague search.

Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott speaking at a press conference on the Corrie McKeague search. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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3. Why can’t police continue to search other areas of the landfill site if it is believed to be the likeliest place for Corrie McKeague to be?

The areas where Corrie could be now, are vast; many times bigger than the area of landfill already searched. It would take years to complete. The environmental and legal impact of digging up such deep and wide areas of landfill is significant and prohibitive.

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4. Why, when Corrie’s last mobile signal was tracked on the same route as the bin lorry in the early stages of the inquiry, did police continue their searches in the direction of Honington instead of searching the recycling centre at Red Lodge or the Milton landfill site?

The investigation continued to remain open-minded. The weight of the bin collected that night and initially given to the police did not support the theory that Corrie was in the bin lorry. This has however since been corrected, and identified the bin was much heavier than normal.

Corrie McKeague on CCTV outside The Grapes pub in Bury St Edmunds

Corrie McKeague on CCTV outside The Grapes pub in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Archant

Police did still explore the feasibility of searching the landfill and a preservation of the landfill was agreed early on with no further waste being added.

5. Was the decision to search the Milton landfill site solely based on the discovery of the original registered weight of the bin lorry being incorrect?

This decision was based upon reviewing all the evidence held within the inquiry, which included the absence of evidence supporting other theories. The weight of the bin was a considerable factor taken into consideration.

6. Are you sure police searched the correct bin lorry?

The correct bin lorry was seized and searched. No other bin lorry was seized.

7. Was there ever a time when there was a lack of staff to adequately resource the police incident room’s telephone lines or the investigation?


8. Have all the buildings in the Horseshoe and the other loading bay area been searched?

Yes – a number of searches have taken place both in the ‘horseshoe’ and the immediate surrounding area with experts including Crime Scene Examiners, trained searchers, recovery dogs and air support unit. This included both public / open areas and private premises and land.

9. What has been done about the reported sightings of Corrie around the Barton Mills and Mildenhall areas?

These have all been subject to review based upon all the evidence held within this inquiry. Each one has been individually followed up. Additional searches have also been carried out where additional evidence has been received and supports such searching.

10. Is there any evidence of Corrie being alive?

There has been no corroborated sighting of Corrie and there has been no use of his bank card or passport since his disappearance.

11. Is it possible for Corrie to have left the Horseshoe without being seen on CCTV?

Despite over 2,000 hours of CCTV footage viewed Corrie is not seen on any of it. It is deemed almost impossible for Corrie to have left the horseshoe on foot without being seen.

12. Have you identified and spoken to all the people who were on the CCTV images issued as part of the inquiry?

One person has yet to be identified. However, CCTV has been used to track the movements of that person and they have been ruled out as not being involved in the disappearance of Corrie. All other persons have been identified, spoken to and again ruled out from the inquiry.

13. Why, if there are further possible theories about what could have happened to Corrie, are they not being investigated?

Police have always remained open-minded and have continued to investigate and review all these theories. There is no evidence of any criminal activity or third party involvement. It has always been a missing person investigation.

14. What happened to the information MIS (McKenzie Intelligence Systems) - the company brought in by Nicola Urquhart - passed on the police?

MIS provided Suffolk Constabulary with a disk containing information from the Find Corrie Facebook page. This information was reviewed and did not create any new lines of inquiry.

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