Corrie McKeague’s mother and brothers are appalled at his father’s claims that his airman son may have killed himself because his girlfriend was pregnant.
Speaking on the Victoria Derbyshire show this morning, Corrie’s police officer mother Nicola Urquhart from Fife, Dunfermline, who has waged a tireless campaign to find him, said that comments made yesterday by Martin McKeague are ‘unhelpful’.
Her son Darroch, Corrie’s brother, added that the comments made by his father were ‘atrocious’ and ‘appalling’ – particularly given that the missing RAF man’s daughter could one day look her father up on the internet and see the comments made by her grandfather.
Corrie McKeague’s mother and brothers are appalled at his father’s claims that his airman son may have killed himself because his girlfriend was pregnant
Corrie’s father Martin McKeague, who is divorced from Ms Urquhart, said this week that his son may have taken his own life by climbing into a bin, knowing he might end up in a bin lorry.
He said he believed that Corrie had found out his girlfriend April Oliver, 21, was pregnant with his child, and that it may have had ‘a profound effect’ on his mental health.
But Miss Oliver who gave birth daughter Elli-Louise last June has previously said that she only discovered she was pregnant two week after Corrie’s disappearance.
Speaking today on the BBC show, Ms Urquhart also revealed the family have ‘doubts’ about the thoroughness of the police investigation to find him, and that there are ‘inconsistencies in the data’ police have used.
Police have admitted that the body of missing airman Corrie McKeague could be in a different landfill site to the one which they searched last year
The family also said that they will not give up until they have ‘reasonable’ answers about what happened to him.
Ms Urquhart added, when asked about the investigation being handed over to a cold case team: ‘You don’t just stop because its too difficult to find an answer.’
Yesterday police admitted that the body of missing airman Corrie could be in a different landfill site to the one they spent 27 weeks searching last year.
Detectives made the admission shortly after revealing that the 18-month hunt for Corrie, which has so far cost £2.15million, was being handed over to a cold case team.
Martin McKeague (left) said he thought his son knew he was going to become a father which may have affected his mental state. Shown right is Corrie’s mother Nicola Urquhart
Police conducted two searches of a landfill site near Cambridge last year, with the first search lasting 20 weeks and the second concluding in December
The move was confirmed as officers said they had ‘reached the point where there are no realistic lines of enquiry left to pursue.’
Corrie, 23, disappeared on a boozy night out in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on September 24, 2017 after possibly climbing into a wheelie bin to sleep.
Police believe the RAF Regiment gunner based at nearby RAF Honington was scooped up by a bin lorry from a horseshoe-shaped storage area.
Officers last year sifted through more than 9,000 tonnes of rubbish at a landfill site at Milton, Cambridgeshire, but found no sign of his body.
But detectives now say that the two separate searches carried out over 27 weeks may have been in the wrong area of the 120-acre site.
Suffolk Police said in a statement: ‘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. ‘
The force ruled out carrying out further searches at the Milton site, saying: ‘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.’
The statement said that police had been through all ‘realistic possibilities in detail’ and there was ‘nothing to suggest any foul play or third party involvement.’
But officers insisted the inquiry was remaining open even though it was moving to the cold case team of the Suffolk and Norfolk Major Investigation Team
The statement added: ‘Any credible new information will continue to be followed up by officers.’
It went on: ‘Since November last year police have been re-examining the evidence relating to all realistic theories to identify whether there is anything else that could be done to establish what could have happened to Corrie.
‘However, this ‘mature assessment’ of all the evidence still points to Corrie being transported from the ‘horseshoe’ area in a bin lorry and ultimately taken to the Milton landfill site..’
Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott of Suffolk Police said: ‘It is extremely disappointing that we have not been able to find Corrie.
April (left), the girlfriend of missing RAF man Corrie McKeague (right), found out she was pregnant in the weeks after his disappearance
‘I can only imagine the strain Corrie’s family have been under over the past 18 months and I thank them for their patience and understanding.
‘Whilst the investigation has drawn to a natural conclusion we will continue to work with the family to provide answers to their questions and help them understand what may have happened.
‘Since Corrie disappeared, police have been exploring all proportionate and relevant lines of enquiry.
How has the search for Corrie unfolded?
September 24, 2016 – Corrie McKeague goes missing after a night out in Bury St Edmunds
September 26 – RAF Honington report disappearance to police
October 4 – It is revealed that his mobile phone had been tracked moving 12 miles away to Barton Mills hours after he was last seen
November 15 – Part of the A14 near Bury St Edmunds is closed while police carry out a roadside search
January 2017 – Corrie’s girlfriend April Oliver reveals she is pregnant
February – A search begins at a landfill site in Milton, Cambridge, amid fears Corrie jumped into a bin
March 1 – A man is arrested but later released without charge
June – Corrie’s daughter Ellie-Louise is born
July – Search of Milton landfill site is ended by police
October – Search is restarted at the dump as police focus on a new section of the site
November – A report by specialist officers concluded Mr McKeague was ‘most likely’ at the landfill site
December – Reward for information rises to £100,000. In the same month, the second search for him at the landfill site ends after police spent 137 days trawling through more than 7,000 tonnes of rubbish
January, 2018 – It is announced that search has cost £1.6million so far
March 26 – Police announce case has been passed on to cold case team
‘We have now reached a point where we are unable to make any further progress, and have gone as far as we realistically can with the information we have.
‘If any new, credible and proportionate enquiries relating to Corrie’s disappearance emerge we will pursue them.’
Suffolk Assistant Chief Constable Simon Megicks said: ‘Saddened as I am that we have not found Corrie, I have absolute confidence in the way the investigation was conducted.
‘The major investigation team inquiry has been reviewed at various points by senior officers within the constabulary and external experts, including the East Midlands Special Operations Unit.
‘The unit’s report concludes police have conducted a thorough and detailed investigation, and explored all reasonable lines of enquiry. It also endorses the primary hypothesis that Corrie ended up in the waste disposal process.’
Corrie’s family have been informed of the end of the active investigation.
The airman’s policewoman mother Ms Urquhart from Fife, Dunfermline, who has waged a tireless campaign to find him, is yet to comment on the hunt becoming a cold case.
But the mother-of-three temporarily turned off comments on the Find Corrie Facebook page which has 125,000 members, saying: ‘Comments and posts are turned off just now. I will be clarifying things and updating you all shortly. X’
Corrie was last seen on CCTV at 3.25am on September 24 last as he walked into the refuse collection area in Bury St Edmunds. He had previously been asleep in a shop doorway after leaving a nightclub.
Mr McKeague, from Fife but based at RAF Honington in Suffolk, was last seen on CCTV (shown) at 3.25am on September 24, 2016
Police quickly realised that the movement of his mobile phone signal matched that of the bin lorry which had picked up the contents of a Greggs bin.
The signal stopped when the lorry reached the Barton Mills area 14 miles away.
The rubbish was taken to a transfer station at Red Lodge. Records suggest it then went to the Milton landfill site, but police have not discounted it being taken elsewhere.
The lorry was impounded, but no forensic clues linking it to Corrie were found. CCTV cameras also failed to capture images of him leaving the bin area on foot.
Bin lorry operator Biffa initially wrongly stated that records showed the wheelie bin behind Greggs had only contained around 11kgs of waste.
Officers repeatedly asked for the calculation to be checked and Biffa admitted last March that it had made a mistake and the bin contained more than 100kgs – enough to include a body.