THE FATHER of missing RAF airman Corrie McKeague has said “the police were probably right” to stop the search of a landfill site where officers were looking for his son.
Martin McKeague said he stands by Suffolk police’s decision to stop the search while a review is held into the investigation.
Martin, from Cupar, Fife, said the decision to stop searching means police can scrutinise evidence and put an end to speculation over what happened to the 23-year-old.
Officers sifted through 6,500 tonnes of waste at a site in Milton, Cambridgeshire, in an ‘unprecedented’ search for Corrie who disappeared from Bury St Edmunds following a night out in September.
Mr McKeague’s comments come just two days after he blocked the entrance to the Milton landfill site with his motorhome.
Just hours later, police halted the operation to fill in the landfill ‘cell’ where they thought Corrie’s body might be saying they will wait until an independant review had been carried out.
Last night, the 48-year-old said: “Today was probably the first time we could stand right at the top and look down into this place.
“And I would say now that the police were probably right in stopping the search at this point in order that a review of everything that’s been done can be carried out.
“We stand by the police’s decision to stop now in order to gain complete transparency from another independent force and look at all the evidence, scrutinise it, and in so doing put to bed all the nonsense and speculation that’s going on out there.
“We welcome the independent review because all of the facts and evidence still tell us that Corrie is here…somewhere.
“And if and when the independent review comes up with that same conclusion then I fully expect this search to continue.”
On Friday, Suffolk police held a press conference announcing they were halting the search at the landfill after finding no trace of Corrie.
The decision caused uproar amongst the public and family members with Martin and Corrie’s mother, Nicola Urquhart saying they were “devastated” at the decision.
Nicola, a serving police officer, previously said she would consider taking out an injunction to stop officers filling in the 48-hectare Milton landfill site ‘until there is more honesty and plain speaking from the police’.
During the press conference, police said Corrie, from Dunfermline,Fife, but based at Honington, Suffolk, had a history of falling asleep in unusual places, including in bins – something that was never mentioned before.
A Biffa bin lorry was seen on CCTV in the area around the time Mr McKeague was last seen, and it took a route which appeared to coincide with the movements of the Scots phone.
During the search, which started in March, Corrie’s girlfriend April Oliver gave birth to their daughter, naming the tot Ellie Louise.
Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott said; “Our thoughts are with Corrie’s family as we had hoped that this search would have provided them with the answers about what happened to him.
“This has been an unprecedented search, in the scale and amount of waste that has been examined. We have searched the whole area where we believed Corrie could be. We had compelling information that directed us to this area however we haven’t found Corrie and this is bitterly disappointing.
“We have searched over 6,500 tonnes of waste, excavating a huge area. Without anything further to tell us where he might be on such a vast site the search cannot continue.
“Officers have been finding items such as newspapers and other material that have September 2016 dates on them. This is the time that Corrie went missing. Some items have been clearly identifiable as coming from Bury St Edmunds and this has confirmed that we have been searching in the right place, however none of these items have had any link to Corrie.
“We have also found items such as mobile phones, footwear and clothing and each one of these items has been checked to ensure it did not belong to Corrie.
“All the work we have carried out, particularly around the weight of the bin lorry collection, points to Corrie being taken to the landfill site.”