The grandparents of missing airman Corrie McKeague have called the police ‘quiet heroes’ in the search for their grandson.
“You don’t realise how much time and effort the police put in and how much they give of themselves personally and professionally until something like this happens,” says grandmother, Mary McKeague.
Corrie’s grandfather Oliver added: “And sometimes they end up taking so much criticism. It’s sad and unhelpful.
“What we’ve seen has been nothing short of incredible and we support their efforts 100 per cent. There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes and we can’t thank them enough.”
On Tuesday December 6, the couple from Fife posted a five-figure reward for the discovery and return of their grandson, a move they say was quietly orchestrated by Corrie’s father Martin McKeague.
The offer of a reward has prompted numerous calls to the Suffolk Police incident room.
“They are the professionals; the police and trained RAF personnel are the right people to do this type of work,” said Oliver.
“The police and RAF worked together well to ensure staffing was in place to answer any calls to the Suffolk police incident room,” said Oliver. “Martin and his wife Trisha have been in contact with the police throughout.
“That was done alongside all of the other investigative efforts. They’re the quiet heroes in the search for Corrie. And we’re going to find him.”
“And I would like to personally shake the hands of the mystery couple in Bury St Edmunds who have put up the other five-figure reward of £50,000. I hope to meet them some day and thank them.”
Mary said, “A number of people have been kind enough to donate to the Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue (SULSAR) team. They have been wonderful. We support that because that money goes directly to the volunteer organisation.
“The McKeague family is not involved with any other fundraising to find Corrie. His father recently sold his Jeep to be able to keep searching.”
It will be 12 weeks tomorrow since Corrie went missing in Bury St Edmunds on the morning of Saturday September 24 after a night out with friends from his base at RAF Honington. He was last seen on CCTV at about 3.25am in Brentgovel Street, behind Superdrug.
Mary and Oliver maintain that Corrie’s disappearance may involve a third party, someone he may have gone away with.
Mary said, “We owe so much to the local Suffolk police and military, The Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue organisation and the masses of volunteers from in and around Bury St Edmunds. Their support has been incredible.”
“Now we need more people to come forward.”
A public search, organised on behalf of Corrie’s mum Nicola Urquhar by Sulsar, is taking place tomorrow. No more volunteers are required for that.
For anyone who would like to make a donation to support the efforts of the volunteers of the Suffolk Lowland Search & Rescue (SULSAR) team, you can do so at the crowdfunding site Just Giving at uk.virginmoneygiving.com
If you think you may have seen Corrie or have information about his whereabouts, call the Suffolk Police incident room on 01473 782019 or if you are not happy talking to the Police, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.