Corrie McKeague’s parents speak after inquest concludes

Corrie McKeague

Corrie McKeague went missing on a night out in Bury St Edmunds in 2016. - Credit: Contributed

Corrie McKeague's parents have spoken after the conclusion of the inquest into the RAF gunner's death.

Mr McKeague's father, Martin McKeague, has criticised "conspiracy theorists" who he said misled people, following the inquest into the death of his son.

Meanwhile, Nicola Urquhart, Corrie McKeague's mother, said she now “100%” believes the conclusion of the inquest after questions were answered.

Mr McKeague, who was based at RAF Honington in Suffolk, was 23 when he disappeared in the early hours of September 24, 2016, after a night out in Bury St Edmunds.

Martin McKeague, the father of Corrie McKeague, and his wife Trisha, attend the opening of the inqu

Martin McKeague, the father of Corrie McKeague, and his wife Trisha, attend the opening of the inquest at Suffolk Coroner's Court, Ipswich Picture: Sam Russell/PA Wire - Credit: PA

An inquest into his death concluded that he climbed into a bin which was then tipped into a waste lorry.

Mr McKeague's father, Martin McKeague, said the “facts are the same as they’ve always been” but that “some conspiracy theorists have continued to mislead you”.

Corrie McKeague on CCTV outside The Grapes pub in Bury St Edmunds Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

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

“They’ve suggested Corrie may have gone AWOL or got lost on his way home to his RAF base (RAF Honington),” he said in a statement.

His son was last seen on CCTV at 3.25am entering a service area, shaped like a horseshoe, behind a Greggs store.

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Mr McKeague said the inquest had “forced the truth out into the open for everyone to see”.

He said: “We knew the facts and evidence could unfortunately only mean one horrible conclusion.

“That Corrie climbed into the bin in the horseshoe area and tragically died in the waste disposal process.”

Waste firm Biffa initially told police that the weight of the bin was 11kg (1 stone 10lbs) but it was later recorded as 116kg (18 stone 3lbs).

Mr McKeague said the delay in establishing the correct bin weight “meant we had much less chance of recovering my son Corrie’s body”.

He described his son as a “loveable rogue who loved to socialise and party”.

Corrie McKeague was based at RAF Honington near Bury St Edmunds

An inquest into the death of RAF serviceman Corrie McKeague has concluded today - Credit: Archant

“He could walk into a room and light it up,” he said.

“Corrie was the atmosphere and could speak to anyone.

“I have lost everything as a result of losing him and he is very much missed by all.”

He said that his son had known before he died that his girlfriend was pregnant.

Mr McKeague thanked Suffolk police for the “amazing, untiring and exemplary work they did during the investigation into my son Corrie’s death”.

He added: “My hope is that today’s decision shines a new light on the truth for everyone and Corrie can hopefully finally be left to rest in peace.”

Ms Nicola Urquhart said “We did have a lot of things that, at the time in the investigation, they didn’t make sense to us.

Nicola Urquhart, the mother of missing Corrie McKeague, in Bury St Edmunds Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

Nicola Urquhart, the mother of Corrie McKeague, in Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Archant

“We’ve always said the most obvious thing is that Corrie ended up in a bin and went to the landfill.

“We had other questions, though, and until they could be answered we couldn’t get to that conclusion either.

“However, we’ve heard information in the inquest that we now completely believe in the verdict that the jury has given today, 100%.

“We’ve had a long conversation with the police, with the SIOs (senior investigating officers) of this team, and it has been a really productive, genuinely helpful, lessons-learned conversation with them.

“As a family, we’ve now all walked out of there with a huge weight lifted off our shoulders.

“I want to trust the police. I’m in the police. I’m 21 years a sergeant in the police. My son’s in the police as well. We want people to trust the police.

“It’s not the investigation we didn’t trust, it was the communication we had an issue with and we’ve managed to resolve that now.

“We’ve been able to thank Suffolk police for the amazing amount of work they’ve done in this investigation and they’ve been able to make us feel better too.”

Ms Urquhart also thanked “every single person on the Find Corrie Facebook page”, which was set up after his disappearance, adding: “It’s truly my heartfelt belief that, without them, we’d never have the complete answers that we’ve got from the police in this investigation.”

She said her son’s legacy is his five-year-old daughter Ellie, who is the “spit of her dad” and “being brought up to know who he was, with his humour”.

She said: “That is his legacy. What more could you ask for?”