The father of missing RAF man Corrie McKeague has declared his son is "no longer missing" and claims he knows what happened to him.
His heartbroken dad wrote on Facebook that Corrie was last tracked to near a landfill site and is now somewhere "in the Suffolk waste disposal system."
The police investigation into his disappearance was shelved by detectives in March.
But for many, the mystery of what happened to the 23-year-old is anything but solved.
His family accept he was probably crushed and his body left in landfill after climbing into a recycling bin which was later collected by a Biffa lorry.
But they blasted the “glaring errors, mistruths and downright lies” reported as fact which plagued the police operation.
Dad Martin, 49, said: “I’ve nothing but praise for the officers who’ve searched tirelessly for Corrie.
But the investigation has been plagued with problems. Now I’ll never find exactly what happened to my beloved son.”
Mum Nicola has also campaigned tirelessly since Corrie vanished in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk aged 23 in September 2016.
Det Supt Katie Elliott said: “It’s extremely disappointing we haven’t been able to find him.”
A cold-case unit will take over, as revealed in the Daily Mirror when we also told how Martin feared his son may have taken his own life.
Here are the points left unresolved after the £2.15million, 18-month probe.
The Biffa lorry blunder
Corrie was seen on CCTV eating some takeaway food at 1.20am before falling asleep in a doorway for two hours.
He then woke up and staggered 110 yards to the back of an industrial “horseshoe” area at 3.25am and was never seen again.
It is believed he most likely crawled into a large recycling bin before being tragically crushed to death when a Biffa truck collected the cargo 50 minutes later and dropped the contents to a trading depot.
Early on in the investigation, a false reading of the load of the bin was given.
The contents were recorded as weighing 11kilos, or 1st 10lbs, when it was actually 116 kilos, or 15st 7lbs – a difference of nearly 14st.
The false reading led police initially to discount the theory that Corrie was in the bin before the company came forward to correct the error.
An independent report has agreed with Suffolk police’s conclusion that Corrie’s remains lie in the landfill site where the rubbish load on the Biffa lorry was taken.
The landfill site
The independent report concluded Corrie’s remains lie in the 120-acre landfill site in Milton, Cambs – 30 miles from where Corrie was last seen.
Detectives believe the most likely scenario is that the gunner, based at nearby RAF Honington, got into a recycling bin that was scooped up by a Biffa bin lorry from a horseshoe-shaped storage area and taken to the landfill site.
Officers last year sifted through nearly 10,000 tonnes of rubbish in 27 weeks of searching at the site, but found no sign of his body.
However, police yesterday made the astonishing admission that two separate searches they carried out there may have been in the wrong area of the site.
Suffolk police said: “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 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.”
Did Corrie McKeague kill himself?
Corrie’s dad Martin McKeague claimed the RAF man believed girlfriend April Oliver was pregnant before he vanished.
He feared this would have “a profound effect” on his son’s mental health.
His dad couldn’t rule out the possibility of suicide, saying in March: “I just can’t help thinking this would have weighed on him heavily and he may have actually chosen to get in that bin that night knowing what would happen.
“It’s as probable as anything else and it makes it no less heartbreaking.”
Private eye and the missing £53,000
Campaigners blamed police for “lacking basic resources” to handle calls from the public.
A JustGiving site set up by local campaigner Cheryl Hickman said: “The police investigation team, through a combination of lack of resources, intransigence and incompetence, have failed to capture and process vital evidence and still lack the basic resources to efficiently process a tiny number of phone calls per week.”
Suffolk police categorically denied this but failed to correct continued public statements by campaigners that the police were struggling.
More than 5,000 well-wishers raised £53,000 – but so far no public accounts have been published, despite promises on the JustGiving site.
The money was allegedly used to fund private investigators. But Suffolk police said the private probe created no new lines of enquiry.
The private eyes provided a single disk of information relating to the FindCorrie Facebook page. Corrie’s dad Martin said: “I feel sorry for the well-wishers who donated their hard-earned money.”
Campaigners’ posters gave five mobile phone numbers “answered by Corrie’s family and friends” instead of the official police hotline.
Det Supt Elliott said: “Naturally we’d have wanted the information to come into the investigation team but it wasn’t within our remit to stipulate exactly how that should happen.”
The Mirror has attempted to contact Ms Hickman for a comment.
The deleted social media accounts including Grindr
Corrie was leading a double life, trawling the internet in search of casual sex with strangers.
The 23-year-old gunner had an account on dating website Plenty of Fish. The serviceman described himself as “a princess” who was looking for a relationship.
He also had an account on the gay dating app Grindr, set up when he was aged 21, two years before he disappeared. The account carried the username “BiLad21”.
Corrie and his girlfriend April Oliver also joined an online swingers’ club.
The airman created a profile on the Fab Swingers website in 2014, saying he was looking for straight and lesbian couples as well as for single women aged 18 to 60. It stated: “We are a young couple, but we know what we want.”
Corrie’s family believe there could have been vital information in the social media accounts.
However, they were deleted before the police were able to contact all relevant parties who may have come into contact with the serviceman.
The Mirror can reveal “advice and assistance was offered to Corrie’s mother Nicola, above, around social media” from Suffolk police after it emerged she was responsible for deleting social media profiles.
Det Supt Elliott said: “I am not willing to discuss operational details.”
The pregnancy riddle
Corrie’s dad claimed his son knew he was about to become a father, and that this may have contributed to him having an “altered state of mind” after he became extremely intoxicated on the night he vanished.
But numerous reports claimed Corrie did not know that girlfriend April Oliver, 22, could have been pregnant before he disappeared.
However, police have now confirmed to the Mirror that April did tell him she thought she might be expecting. She gave birth in June the year after he vanished.
Corrie was known to suffer from depression and his father believes it is possible he may have taken his own life if he was worried over his future responsibilities.
Martin said: “A lot of people went to great lengths to suggest Corrie didn’t know he was about to become a father. I don’t know their reasoning for this but I’ve always felt it could have been significant.
“Perhaps it contributed to him drinking excessively that night, or perhaps it led him to get in the bin, perhaps he knew what would happen if he got in that bin.”
Suffolk police confirmed: “A number of witnesses have provided statements stating that Corrie was aware of April’s pregnancy.”
Corrie’s last sighting near a well-known dogging site
A delivery driver has told police he saw the airman at 4.30am on the day he vanished – 66 minutes after he was last seen on CCTV during a night out.
Roy Hawes said he saw a man matching the gunner’s description 12 miles from where he was last seen entering a loading bay behind a Greggs.
But he says police failed to investigate his sighting properly. Roy, a 55-year-old bread delivery driver, said: “I saw him clear as day.”
Roy said: “He ran across the A11 at Barton Mills in front of my van. He was wearing the clothes in the police description – pink shirt, brown boots.
“Then he ran to the other side and disappeared near an Esso station. He stood out because it was 4.30am, very cold and he was in shirt sleeves. It’s a notorious meeting place for swingers and doggers. I wouldn’t have thought it was a safe place for a lad on his own.”
Source: Read Full Article