CORRIE McKeague’s father has praised heroic search teams for working in conditions so appalling the smell “makes you want to retch”.
Martin McKeague revealed last night that conditions are so bad at the landfill site in Milton near Cambridge that police had been peppering the air with mint to mask the stench.
A bubblegum scent had previously been blown out from reduce the smell as as officers from Norfolk and Suffolk trawl through waste in a bid to find missing airman.
But Martin from Cupar, Fife has revealed that despite these efforts, the “vile” smell from the ground is so bad it “assaults your senses”.
The 48-year-old also revealed how the smell would make people retch long before they even get near where the excavation is being carried out.
Earlier this week Suffolk police confirmed they were extending their 10-week search by at least an extra three weeks to hunt for the 23-year-old who vanished almost eight months ago.
Sharing an update on Facebook, highlighting his appreciation for the search, Martin said: “I must admit that I was nothing short of overjoyed to hear that the volunteers from the Norfolk and Suffolk police departments will be continuing the search for my son at the landfill site in Milton for the next three weeks.
“That announcement arrived as yet another endorsement of the facts that tell us Corrie is out there, somewhere in the landfill.
“It was also an incredible relief to both Trisha and I as we made our regular visit to the site today – my twelfth over the last eleven weeks – to once again see all of those faces that we’ve come to know working alongside the new fresh sets of eyes that have once again been rotated into the team.
“They’re all out there working tirelessly in appalling conditions while the vile smell coming up from the ground assaults your senses.
“And despite the police’s best efforts to pepper the air with mint and other aromas to try and alleviate it, the smell is enough to make you want to retch long before you ever get anywhere near where the real excavation work is being carried out.
“It’s not a place for the faint-hearted. But we come back here every week because what they’re doing for the McKeague family in Scotland is nothing short of heroic, and we want to continue to remind them how much we appreciate it.
“In all honesty I can’t remember the exact amount of rubbish they reported had been moved and raked through today when we shook hands with them and tried our best to express our gratitude, but I’m certain it was well in excess of 3,500 tons.”
Martin also revealed he is confident that police will continue to search the landfill until they find Corrie.
He added: As I said in my previous post; he is there, and the police are searching in the right place. And any suggestion to the contrary simply does not marry up to the evidence.
“The documentation and detail from the site operators against which the police have orchestrated this search is exactingly specific.
“It is the extraordinary efforts of the police that have brought us this far, and which will, along with the assistance of the Jones Brothers excavation team, conclude in finding my son.”
Corrie, an RAF airman based in Honington,, went missing on September 24 last year following a nightout with friends in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
He is thought to have somehow found himself in the back of a Biffa bin lorry that collected rubbish in an area where Corrie was last seen on CCTV.
Police have previously confirmed his mobile phone signal followed the route of the lorry on the night.
Incorrect bin weight measurements given by the refuse firm resulted in police not searching the site until earlier this year.
Thousands of hours and £1million have been spent looking for the 23-year-old, originally from Dunfermline, Fife.
More than 3,500 tonnes of waste has been searched at the landfill where Corrie is believed to be found but no trace of the young airman has been found.
The hunt, originally estimated to take up to 10 weeks, is now in its 11th week.
Last week his pregnant girlfriend, April Oliver shared a snap showing off her bump.