THE mother of missing RAF gunner Corrie McKeague has been forced by online trolls to denounce “surreal” claims her son was killed by his younger brother.
The internet is awash with wild conspiracy theories about what happened to Corrie, 23, but the most ridiculous is that his brother, Darroch, was involved.
Trolls have caused particular anguish to mum Nicola Urquhart, 47, by falsely claiming that Darroch, 21, drove 404 miles from his home in Dunfermline, Fife, to Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk, to kill his sibling.
Corrie’s uncle, Tony Wringe, a former serviceman, wrote on the Find Corrie Facebook page: “In Nicola’s own words. For those that believe Darroch drove to Bury to kill or hide his brother: Darroch was in Dunfermline in his bed.
“This can be proved as his phone would be registered on the mast – talking to his brother on the Friday night.
“Darroch was then at his work at 0700 hours on the Saturday until 1700 hours. This can be corroborated by endless people and CCTV. It takes 7 hours to drive to Bury.”
He added: “To those who support the pages and people that make comments like this about a 21-year-old who is missing his best friend and brother, words fail me.
“They don’t actually fail me, but it most certainly would not be dignified to write it.”
Tony said is was “somewhat surreal” even to write about the claims “but there is a need to say it for one of the web forums which doesn’t seem to want to let fact get in the way of their theories”.
“Rather than go the libel route, we’ll just state it here publicly,” he said.
Darroch has taken part in live Facebook sessions to try to raise awareness of his brother’s disappearance.
The butcher had made plans to visit Corrie a month after his disappearance and the siblings planned to travel back to Scotland together.
Corrie, originally from Dunfermline, Fife, went missing after a night out with friends in Bury St Edmunds on September 24 last year.
Earlier this month, Corrie’s mum decided to make public the fact that he and his pregnant girlfriend, April Oliver, were members of a swingers’ website. She took the step following open speculation on social media.
Corrie, who was based at RAF Honington, ten miles north of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, was last spotted on CCTV showing him walking alone after eating a takeaway.
He then fell asleep in a doorway and a search of his phone picked up a signal 13 miles away at a nearby landfill site.
His mother, who is an officer with Police Scotland, led her own unofficial search along with 100 volunteers, drones and dogs.
The ludicrous conspiracy theories are believed to have come to light following a live Q & A on Facebook held by Corrie’s two brothers.
Following the hour long webcam chat two weeks ago, one Reddit user wrote: “I noticed on the live feed on FC FB page last night, someone kept repeatedly asking Darroch if it was true that he had driven from where he lives to Bury the day Corrie went missing, and could he prove his own whereabouts that day.”
Another wrote: “My instinct is telling me now that they have to be hiding something.
“Darroch seems shifty, his whole attitude to it is pretty laid back in my opinion and to me. I don’t know about anyone else. It’s written all over his face/body language. At the very least he must have some clue regarding what’s happened.”
And one user said: “Something has been bothering me since I watched the live Q&A last night and I’ve just realised that it’s about Darroch. His whole demeanour in the time since Corrie has been missing has altered. If you watch earlier interviews etc, he genuinely looks tired, forlorn and worried. In one interview, I believe he said he didn’t think it would end well.
“Well, fast forward 4 months and instead of being just the same, or worse, which you would expect, due to another few months of endless interviews, questions, press revelations and yet still being no further forward; he seems to be remarkably upbeat. “
And during a discussion between users who were speculating that the family know more than they are allowed to say, one Redditor wrote: “I believe Darroch certainly does, his body language has been off from day one. Very defensive and dismissive.”
Many comments on the Reddit threads have since been deleted shortly after being posted.