Police investigating the disappearance of airman Corrie McKeague say that in spite of all their appeals there are still people who were in the area he went missing in seven weeks ago tonight who have not come forward.
Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott said today; “Officers have been working to locate all individuals and vehicles seen in the area in the early hours and have spoken to dozens of people, however we know there are still some who haven’t come forward or been traced and we would continue to ask anyone in the vicinity that morning to come forward.”
Work is continuing to trace missing 23-year-old Corrie, an airman with 2Sqn RAF Regiment at Honington, who was last seen on CCTV at 3.24am on September 24 in Brentgovel Street, Bury.
Police have seized 1,100 hours of CCTV footage from local authority, business and private sources. Over the past weeks this has been systematically viewed to see if there any further sightings of Corrie.
Starting from the last confirmed sighting in Brentgovel Street the hours of footage have been gone through in time and location order, gradually expanding outwards to 8am and further away from the point of the last confirmed images of him.
There remain no positive sightings of Corrie but the work continues and all footage has been sent for further detailed analysis to ensure nothing has been missed.
Searches have been carried out in a wide area between Bury St Edmunds, Honington and Barton Mills. This search strategy was put in place by specialist police officers and carried out by police, RAF personnel and volunteers from Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue (SULSAR) and National Search And Rescue Dogs Association (NSARDA).
In the early stages roadsides between Bury St Edmunds and Honington were searched with this being expanded from the roads to surrounding farmland and woodland and to the Barton Mills area.
To date searches have been carried out along possible routes between Bury and the base, on a route parallel to the A134 between Honington and Fornham St Martin, on the A1101 between the Fiveways roundabout at Barton Mills and Icklingham, around the Great Livermere area, between the A134 and A143 and in waterways.
SULSAR and the RAF have assisted with water searches in the River Lark and in bodies of water and ditches between the town and the base.
British Transport Police assisted with searches along the railway line from Bury St Edmunds, while the National Police Air Service helicopter has been carrying out searches throughout the investigation.
Specialist RAF search teams have joined Suffolk police officers and Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue volunteers to carry out line searching of wooded areas. Police say new searches are being considered as the inquiry continues.
As well as a team of police search officers, CCTV viewers and detectives carrying out enquiries, a number of other police staff have been supporting the investigation in various areas including to help identify and trace those seen on CCTV and, since the start of the enquiry, uniformed Suffolk officers have carried out visits and checks.
In addition to RAF military police investigators, RAF search personnel and intelligence staff, Suffolk Constabulary are also receiving assistance from other specialist teams from other forces including CCTV viewers from Metropolitan Police.
Suffolk Police say all their work has been reviewed by other forces since the beginning to ensure everything possible is being done.
Det Supt Elliott said; “We have to keep an open mind as there is no key line of enquiry to take us in any one direction. We can’t rule anything out and therefore we have to continue to investigate all possibilities.
“Despite extensive searches, CCTV viewing, media appeals and many behind the scenes enquiries we still do not have a lead which takes us forward.
“Many theories are being explored and work is ongoing to trace everyone who was in the area around the key time as they may have information that may help.
“We have received support from many people in this work and we are grateful to all those who are assisting. It is important that we systematically work through all the information that has come into the enquiry and this work is continuing.”
Anyone who was out in the Bury St Edmunds, Honington or Barton Mills area in the early hours of Saturday 24 September – even if you think you saw nothing important – or anyone with information that may help should call the incident room on 01473 782019.
You can report anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
You can download a PDF of the police Corrie appeal poster to print and display here.