CORRIE McKeague’s dad says there is “no mystery” over his son’s death as he climbed into a Greggs wheelie bin that was collected an hour later, an inquest heard.

Cops said that they believed the missing airman was dead as the inquest into his apparent death was briefly opened in a ten minute hearing at Suffolk Coroner’s Court in Ipswich.

Corrie, 23, disappeared in the early hours of September 24, 2016 while on a drunken night out in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

His body has never been found, despite a police inquiry costing more than £2.15million which included two huge searches of a landfill site.

The family of the airman from Dunfermline have been battling for four years to find out what happened to him, and a Find Corrie page run on Facebook by his policewoman mother has amassed 106,000 followers.

The hearing today was attended by Corrie’s father Martin McKeague and his second wife Trisha who had driven down from their home in Scotland.

Chief Supt Marina Ericson, the county policing commander for Suffolk, gave a statement on behalf of Operation Phonetic which she described as “the investigation into the disappearance and subsequent death of Corrie McKeague.”

She said: “Corrie was born on 16th September 1993 in Scotland. He was one of three boys, his family consisting of his mother Nicola Urquhart, his father Martin McKeague and his two brothers, Darroch and Makeyan.

“Corrie had served in the RAF for three years, and at the time of his death was based in RAF Honington, Suffolk.

“On the evening of Friday 23rd September 2016, Corrie drove his car into Bury St Edmunds where he subsequently met up with some of his RAF colleagues to go drinking and socialising.

“Witnesses state that Corrie consumed so much alcohol during the evening, he became very drunk and was asked to leave Flex nightclub. Witnesses also described him as being happy and friendly throughout the night.

“At 03.25 hrs Corrie entered a ‘horseshoe’ shaped area in Brentgovel Street behind Superdrug and Greggs the bakers. Located in the area are several industrial waste bins. 03.25 hrs was the last time Corrie was seen and known to be alive.

“A Biffa waste lorry, making its waste collections, drove into this area at 04.19hrs and emptied the Greggs waste bin.

"The bin weighed 116kg, approximately 70-80kg more than its average."

She added: “Corrie’s mobile phone, having connected to the internet, provided a signal, which from this point, mapped the movements of the waste lorry to the Barton Mills roundabout.

"At that point the mobile service provider lost the signal.

“At 15.42 hrs on Monday 26th September, Corrie was reported missing by his colleagues at RAF Honington.

“Despite an extensive police-led investigation and search, there has been no proof of life since the last sighting of Corrie at 03.25hrs on Saturday 24th September, 2016.

“It is believed that Corrie having climbed into the Greggs waste bin located in the area of the 'Horseshoe', Brentogvel Street, was in the bin when it was emptied into the Biffa waste lorry, and this is where he subsequently died.”

Suffolk senior coroner Nigel Parsley described the death of Corrie as “tragic”.

He added: “I would like to pass my sincere condolences to Corrie’s parents Nicola and Martin and the rest of his family and friends who lost him in such tragic circumstances.

“On the basis of the evidence I have heard, I will open the inquest into Corrie’s tragic death.”


Mr Parsley adjourned the inquest to a pre-inquest hearing on February 5 next year which will discuss the evidence to be admitted and the witnesses required.

Mr McKeague said after the hearing that he believed his son had died after going into the bin lorry, and dismissed the numerous theories surrounding his disappearance.

He said: “I want to put the truth out to the public. There is no mystery.

"The evidence that we have been presented with by the police is what happened to him. I want everyone to get to know the truth.”

Mr McKeague added that he and the police had wanted the full inquest to have been held in 2018.

Police carried out two searches of a 120 acre landfill site at Milton, Cambridgeshire, over 27 weeks in 2017, but found no sign of Corrie’s body after sifting through 9,000 tons of rubbish.

Corrie was last seen asleep in a shop doorway on the night he disappeared after picking up a takeaway.

CCTV later showed him walking towards the area containing the Greggs bin.

Police quickly realised that the movement of his mobile phone signal matched that of the bin lorry which had picked up the contents of the 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 evidence that we have been presented with by the police is what happened to him

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 later admitted that it had made a mistake and the bin contained 116kgs – enough to include a body.

Corrie’s girlfriend April Oliver, then 21, found out that she was pregnant with his child after he disappeared and later gave birth to his daughter Ellie-Louise.

Craig Knightley of law firm Tees Law, representing Mrs Urquhart, said: “Corrie’s mother wishes to ensure that all the right questions are asked and answered as fully as possible at the inquest scheduled to be undertaken at Ipswich Coroner’s Court early next year.

“The inquest will be an ideal opportunity to bring together the various strands of investigation and Tees Law will be supporting the family throughout what will be an emotional, but we hope fruitful, process for them.

“We shall be doing our utmost to assist the investigation in exploring every aspect of this tragic mystery, so that all relevant circumstances are put before the Coroner to enable important conclusions to be drawn.”

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