Corrie McKeague: Landfill Search Resumes
3 October 2017, 16:17 | Updated: 3 October 2017, 16:55
Police are going back to the Milton landfill site in Cambridgeshire to resume the search there for missing airman Corrie McKeague.
Investigators called off the initial search there in July having found no traces of the RAF serviceman, who was last seen in the area of Bury St Edmunds known as the ‘horseshoe’ where there was a bin lorry collection at around 4.15am - 4.20am on Saturday 24th September 2016.
Suffolk Police says the decision to re-start the search there has been taken after "thorough consideration", and that it is likely to take four to six weeks.
Its Major Investigation Team has concluded the area of the original 20-week search is still the location where Corrie McKeague was most likely to be found, but that the area of Cell 22 next to the site of the earlier search - that will now be looked through - is the next most likely area where Corrie could be.
The airman's mother, Nicola Urquhart, has welcomed the news and told Heart it has come as a big relief.
She has previously spoken very publicly about how she never wanted the search at the landfill to stop.
Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott from Suffolk Police said: "Throughout this rigorous investigation we have remained committed to following all reasonable lines of enquiry in our endeavours to discover what has happened to Corrie.
"Confronted by the variances in the way waste can be deposited and through further investigation we cannot discount the possibility Corrie may be elsewhere in Cell 22. Therefore, we believe our decision to extend the search area is the correct one.
"We have spoken to Corrie’s mum and dad to explain our decision, and share in detail the reasons behind it. We will, of course, continue to work together with Corrie’s family as the inquiry progresses.
"We can only hope that over the coming weeks the resumption of the search brings the answers that we are all hoping for and especially, of course, for Nicola and Martin.
On-site preparatory work for the resumption of the search will begin this week. The full-scale search is likely to begin after that has been completed.
A bin lorry was caught on CCTV near Brentgovel Street in Bury St Edmunds around the time Mr McKeague was last seen.
It took a route which appeared to coincide with the movements of his phone.
The bin lorry linked to Mr McKeague's disappearance was initially thought to have collected a 24lb (11kg) load, but police said it was later found to be more than 220lb (100kg).
The initial search of a landfill site at Milton in Cambridgeshire was called off after no evidence of his body was found.
Mr McKeague's girlfriend, April Oliver, announced in June that the missing serviceman had become a father with the birth of their daughter.
Last month, on the one-year anniversary of Mr McKeague going missing, his mother Nicola Urquhart led a group of about 30 people around the town centre in a bid to "jog someone's memory".
Announcing the new search on Tuesday, Ms Elliott said: "We have spoken to Corrie's mum and dad to explain our decision, and share in detail the reasons behind it.
"We will, of course, continue to work together with Corrie's family as the inquiry progresses.
"We can only hope that over the coming weeks the resumption of the search brings the answers that we are all hoping for and especially, of course, for Nicola and (his father) Martin."