Alternative theories on Corrie McKeague disappearance in police statement

Corrie McKeague with his puppy

Missing airman Corrie McKeague disappeared following a night out in Bury in 2016 - Credit: Archant

A 30-page document outlining alternative theories about the disappearance of airman Corrie McKeague has been prepared by police, a pre-inquest review hearing was told. 

The RAF gunner was 23 when he vanished in the early hours of September 24, 2016, following a night-out drinking with friends in Bury St Edmunds

A wide-reaching investigation, including two searches of a landfill site in Milton, Cambridgeshire, yielded no trace of the airman - who was stationed at RAF Honington, near Bury St Edmunds, at the time. 

Suffolk police believe he climbed into a bin which was then tipped into a waste lorry and previously have said there is no evidence to support any foul play or third party involvement. 

Peter Taheri, counsel to the inquest, told a hearing in Ipswich that Chief Superintendent Marina Ericson of Suffolk police had prepared a "statement on alternative hypotheses".

The witness statement, which he described as "30 pages or so" in length, was put together to show what police had considered.

Mr Taheri said he was awaiting confirmation from the force that this statement was "ready for onward disclosure" with those involved in the inquest.

Corrie was reported missing at 3.42pm on September 26 by colleagues at RAF Honington and no trace of him has been found.

An independent review of the police investigation was completed by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit in 2017.

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It concluded that the force completed a "thorough" investigation and explored all reasonable lines of inquiry.

Corrie McKeague, who disappeared following a night out in Bury St Edmunds in 2016 Picture: COURTESY OF FAMILY

The airman was stationed at RAF Honington at the time of his disappearance - Credit: Archant

A full inquest, listed for a four-week period from March 7, will consider topics including the collection of the bin, the police search and results of the investigation.

It will also examine "any risk-taking behaviour" by Corrie, his recent mental state and consumption of alcohol, Mr Taheri said.

Nigel Parsley, senior coroner for Suffolk, said that the disciplinary records of bin lorry driver Martyn Thompson will be shared with counsel to consider whether they "show a propensity for diligence or not".

Temporary Chief Superintendent Marina Ericson, County Policing Commander, has warned those planning

A hearing was told that Chief Superintendent Marina Ericson of Suffolk police had prepared a "statement on alternative hypotheses". - Credit: Archant

Hayley Saunders, for Mr Thompson, said that Mr Thompson's evidence is that he checked the bin.

Mr Taheri said that he did not believe he "spotted anything directly relevant" in Mr Thompson's disciplinary records but that they "could show a degree of carelessness".

Mr Parsley said that the disciplinary records will be shared with counsel and he would hear any further submissions on their possible inclusion in the inquest at a later date.

Thursday's hearing in Ipswich was attended in person by Corrie's father Martin McKeague, and his wife Trisha.

A further pre-inquest review hearing is to be heard on a date to be fixed.

Last week, on the fifth anniversary of his son's disappearance, Martin McKeague told this newspaper that the past five years had been "horrendous"