Suffolk police answer key questions around Corrie McKeague disappearance in Bury St Edmunds (Part 1)

Posters appealing for information into the disappearance of missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie

Posters appealing for information into the disappearance of missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie McKeague - Credit: Archant

Since his unexplained disappearance in Bury St Edmunds more than four months ago, Corrie McKeague has become a source of national attention as the search to find him gathers thousands of supporters.

Corrie McKeague

Corrie McKeague - Credit: Archant

Suffolk police has come under unprecedented levels of scrutiny throughout and officers are still working tirelessly to find the RAF Honington serviceman.

Hundreds of questions have been asked of police and here, in part one of a two-part Q&A, Suffolk Constabulary answers some key questions people have asked about the enquiry.

The 23-year-old’s mother, Nicola Urquhart, last night said after hearing the questions put to the force: “I think if you’ve managed to get answers to those questions and they actually genuinely answered them, without just being political, that’s brilliant, I’m so pleased with that.

“Anything I would want to say just now would be really positive to the police. I was perhaps disappointed I had to go to the lengths I did to get some of the actions carried out, but I’m absolutely delighted that they have.”

Q: Why was the decision taken not to search the rubbish site which could have contained Corrie’s mobile phone, given that the mobile’s signal matched the journey of a bin lorry heading there?

A: We needed to focus on investigating and searching the areas where we were most likely to find Corrie, with searches and CCTV prioritised as lines of enquiry. Analysis of Corrie’s phone showed it had moved between Bury St Edmunds and Barton Mills around an hour after the last confirmed sighting of Corrie. There was then no further signal from the phone. Police used the CCTV available outside of the Bury St Edmunds area to see if the movement matched with any vehicle movement and found that the bin lorry had travelled between the two locations at the time, however it cannot be ruled out that another vehicle also made the journey. Officers have looked at the possibility that the phone may have been inside or on the bin lorry in some detail but this cannot be confirmed – and there is nothing to indicate whether the phone fell off the vehicle at Barton Mills, was crushed within the vehicle or stopped giving out a signal for another reason. Extensive work is still underway in connection with this, including enquiries to gather the information that the phone may have been able to provide.

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Q: Would finding Corrie’s mobile phone help the investigation?

A: Police have been able to establish much of the information that would be available if they had possession of Corrie’s mobile phone. There is a possibility there is information on the phone that is not available to the investigation, however the value of this cannot be ascertained.

Suffolk Constabulary CCTV footage of Corrie McKeague

Suffolk Constabulary CCTV footage of Corrie McKeague - Credit: Archant

Q: How long can police maintain the current operation to find Corrie for?

A: As long as we still have lines of enquiry to follow, as we do now, this will remain an active and continuing investigation. Police still have work to carry out around a number of aspects of the investigation and we continue to treat finding Corrie as a priority for the Constabulary.

Q: How long have police been aware of all the details of Corrie’s social media accounts, including the recent swinger website which was reported last week?

A: Police were aware of the social media sites and websites Corrie was using from the first few days of the investigation and work has been carried out around this as part of the enquiry.

Q: Is the force still confident there is no link with an attempted abduction at RAF Marham, just a few weeks before Corrie vanished?

A: As both Norfolk and Suffolk Police have said these two enquiries are not being linked.

Read part 2 of the Q&A session here, featuring further questions answered by police, plus some questions posed by Nicola herself.

Nicola Urquhart on a search for her son Corrie McKeague in woodland near Barton Mills.

Nicola Urquhart on a search for her son Corrie McKeague in woodland near Barton Mills. - Credit: Archant

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