Thursday 19 January 2017

Kidnap fears after RAF man goes missing in mysterious circumstances

Sam Russell

Published 03/10/2016 | 12:00

Undated handout photo issued by Suffolk Police as police have widened their search for the RAF serviceman who has been missing for more than a week amid fears he may have been kidnapped
Undated handout photo issued by Suffolk Police as police have widened their search for the RAF serviceman who has been missing for more than a week amid fears he may have been kidnapped

Police investigating the disappearance of an RAF serviceman have seized a bin lorry for examination following analysis of mobile phone data.

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Corrie McKeague, 23, who has been missing for more than a week, was last seen in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, in the early hours of September 24.

Handout CCTV grab dated 24/09/16 issued by Suffolk Police of Corrie McKeague on Brentgovel Street in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, as police have widened their search for the RAF serviceman who has been missing for more than a week amid fears he may have been kidnapped
Handout CCTV grab dated 24/09/16 issued by Suffolk Police of Corrie McKeague on Brentgovel Street in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, as police have widened their search for the RAF serviceman who has been missing for more than a week amid fears he may have been kidnapped

Analysis of mobile phone data shows his phone moved between Bury St Edmunds and Barton Mills, more than 12 miles (19km) away, on the morning of his disappearance, Suffolk Police said.

Officers do not believe Mr McKeague was in the lorry, but have said his phone may have been lost or discarded and police are carrying out searches along the vehicle's route.

Data analysis shows the phone was in Bury St Edmunds early on Saturday September 24 and then moved to the Barton Mills area.

It did not move after that and has not been used since, police said, and it has not yet been found.

Undated handout photo issued by Suffolk Police of a pink Ralph Lauren polo shirt that Corrie McKeague was believed to have been wearing when he disappeared, as police have widened their search for the RAF serviceman who has been missing for more than a week
Undated handout photo issued by Suffolk Police of a pink Ralph Lauren polo shirt that Corrie McKeague was believed to have been wearing when he disappeared, as police have widened their search for the RAF serviceman who has been missing for more than a week

The timings of the phone's movement coincide with that of the bin lorry which is known to have travelled between the locations at the time and so the truck has been seized for examination, police said.

Police said the load weighed less than 33lb (15kg), so it is not thought Mr McKeague was with the phone.

However searches are being carried out between Bury and Barton Mills.

Searches by Suffolk Police, RAF personnel, Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue, and the National Police Air Service helicopter have continued over the weekend, including around the RAF Honington base, and checks were carried out in Bury St Edmunds a week on from his disappearance, but these have not revealed any new information as to his whereabouts.

Mr McKeague's mother Nicola Urquhart, of Dunfermline, Scotland, had said she was worried her son may have been abducted.

She told the Sunday Times the possibility of kidnap "has been mentioned by the police and it's not something they would rule out".

Mrs Urquhart added: "It's looking more and more suspicious as time goes on that they're not actually finding him. It (kidnapping) is something that they're thinking of.

"Obviously it is something they're looking at, but it's certainly not something they're shouting about to me."

Bury St Edmunds is about 30 miles from RAF Marham, where two men of Middle Eastern appearance tried to kidnap an RAF serviceman who was out running near the base in July.

Mr McKeague was last seen at about 3.20am on Saturday September 24 and Suffolk Police believe he may have been in the area of Mildenhall, a small market town where there is another RAF base about 15 miles north west of Bury St Edmunds, between 4.30am and 8am the same day.

Police are trying to trace anyone who may have seen or spoken to a man matching his description in the area at the time and have released photographs of the clothing he was believed to have been wearing when he disappeared - a pink Ralph Lauren polo shirt and brown suede Timberland boots.

Mr McKeague is described as white, 5ft 10ins, of medium build, with short light brown hair.

Press Association

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