Corrie Mckeague: Missing airman search to be stood down

There are “no realistic lines of inquiry left” in the investigation into the disappearance of RAF airman Corrie Mckeague, police have said.

Mr Mckeague was 23 when he was last seen on 24 September 2016 walking into a bin loading bay in Bury St Edmunds.

Suffolk Police said the inquiry, which has cost £2.1m, had been handed to a cold case team but remained open.

Det Supt Katie Elliott said: “It is extremely disappointing that we have not been able to find Corrie.”

“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,” she added.

A police spokesman said the case had always been a missing persons investigation and there is no evidence of “criminal activity or third party involvement”.

Suffolk Police said it had 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”.

But the force said an assessment of the evidence “still points to Corrie being transported from the ‘horseshoe’ area in a bin lorry and ultimately taken to the Milton landfill site”.

  • The mystery of the airman who disappeared
  • Missing airman search costs police £2.1m
  • Landfill search for missing airman ends

    Mr Mckeague was last seen on CCTV pictures at about 03:25 BST after a night out and his phone was tracked as taking the same route as a bin lorry.

    As part of the inquiry, police trawled a landfill site in Milton, Cambridgeshire, for the missing airman’s remains.

    However, after the search the force said they were “content” he was not in the landfill areas.

    Assistant Chief Constable Simon Megicks said he had “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,” he said.

    Det Supt Elliott added: “If any new, credible and proportionate inquiries relating to Corrie’s disappearance emerge we will pursue them.”

    The force said Mr Mckeague’s family have been informed of the decision.

    Mr Mckeague’s mother Nicola Urquhart previously said the search of the waste site had given her “immeasurable peace of mind”.

    The investigation into the disappearance has cost £2.1m and Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner said the government had agreed to contribute with a special grant, expected to be about £800,000.

Suffolk MP Daniel Poulter cleared in misconduct probe

The Suffolk MP Daniel Poulter has been cleared over allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards female colleagues.

Mr Poulter was referred to an internal disciplinary committee following claims made to the Sunday Times in November.

In a statement, the Conservative Party said a panel found there was “insufficient evidence to support the complaint made against him”.

Mr Poulter said he was “pleased”, but “entirely unsurprised” at the findings.

The MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich was placed under investigation after fellow Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen alleged that women had complained about being treated inappropriately by him.

Mr Poulter had been on sick leave but returned to the Commons in January to hear a bill reading.

He said: “I am pleased although entirely unsurprised that, after five months, I have finally been exonerated of any misconduct or inappropriate behaviour.

“I appreciate that the committee left no stone unturned in investigating these unsubstantiated complaints against me.”

He revealed legal action was under way against the Sunday newspaper.

‘Toll on health’

Mr Poulter added: “The allegations brought against me were false and scurrilous. I have no idea why a fellow Conservative MP should have irresponsibly sought publicity by attaching his name to these claims in a newspaper article.

“The past five months have been incredibly difficult for me and have at times taken a considerable toll on my health.

“Nevertheless, I have continued to represent the people of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and I fully intend to continue doing so.”

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “A thorough and impartial investigation of a complaint took place and a panel chaired by an independent QC found there was insufficient evidence to support the complaint.”

The full findings of the panel will be published in the coming days.