Inquest opens into death of missing RAF airman Corrie McKeague

Corrie McKeague with his puppy

Corrie McKeague with his puppy - Credit: Archant

A senior Suffolk police officer has told an inquest into the death of RAF serviceman Corrie McKeague that there has been “no proof of life” since the airman went missing in Bury St Edmunds in 2016.

Corrie, who was stationed at RAF Honington, was last seen on CCTV entering a bin loading area behind a row of shops in Bury on Saturday, September 24, 2016, after a night out drinking with RAF colleagues.

A multi-million pound investigation, which included two searches of a landfill in Milton, Cambridgeshire, yielded no trace of the RAF gunner, who was aged 23 at the time of his disappearance.

Temporary Chief Superintendent Marina Ericson, from Suffolk police, told Suffolk Coroner’s Court today it is believed Corrie died after climbing into an industrial bin which was then emptied into a waste lorry.

MORE: Dad of missing Corrie McKeague insists there is ‘no mystery’ over son’s death T/Chief Superintendent Ericson told the inquest that a Biffa lorry entered the ‘horseshoe’ area at 4.19am and the weight of the vehicle having collected the rubbish was 116kg – which is around 70-80kg more than its average weight.

She said: “Despite an extensive police-led investigation and search, there has been no proof of life since the last sighting of Corrie at 3.25am on Saturday, September 24, 2016.

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“It is believed that Corrie, having climbed into the Greggs waste bin located in the area of the horseshoe in Brentgovel Street, was in the bin when it was emptied into the Biffa waste lorry and this is where he subsequently died.”

At the short inquest opening, Nigel Parsley, senior coroner for Suffolk, passed on his “sincere condolences” to Corrie’s parents, Nicola Urquhart and Martin McKeague, and to the airman’s family and friends for their loss “in such tragic circumstances”.

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Mr Parsley formally opened and adjourned the inquest, and a pre-inquest review will take place on Friday, February 5, 2021.

Mrs Urquhart listened to proceedings remotely, while Martin McKeague, and his wife, Trisha, attended the hearing in person.

Mrs Urquhart previously said she had asked for an inquest for her son and was “extremely hopeful that this will give us answers”.

Martin McKeague said after Friday’s hearing: “This will put the truth out to the public. There’s no mystery. We’re not finding out any new news here.”

He said his son went into the bin, adding: “The facts and evidence that we’ve been presented with tell us that’s what happened to him.”

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