Search to resume for missing RAF serviceman Corrie McKeague

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Police are to resume the search for missing RAF gunner Corrie McKeague.

The 23-year-old was last seen walking through Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, after a night out with friends.

A five-month search of a landfill site was called off in July after no evidence of his body was found.

But Suffolk Police said that after rechecking the information available to them, the investigative team concluded the area of the original search "is still the location where there was the highest likelihood of finding Corrie".

The force said the resumed, extended search, likely to take between four and six weeks, would concentrate on an area next to the site of the earlier search.

Mr McKeague, from Fife, Scotland but based at RAF Honington in Suffolk, was last seen on CCTV at 3.25am on September 24, 2016.

Landfill site
A fruitless five-month search for Mr McKeague ended in July (Chris Radburn/PA)

Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott said: "Throughout this rigorous investigation we have remained committed to following all reasonable lines of inquiry in our endeavours to discover what has happened to Corrie.

"Confronted by the variances in the way waste can be deposited and through further investigation we cannot discount the possibility Corrie may be elsewhere in Cell 22.

"Therefore, we believe our decision to extend the search area is the correct one."

Milton landfill site
Police searched the landfill site in Milton, Cambridgeshire (Chris Radburn/PA)

A bin lorry was caught on CCTV near Brentgovel Street in Bury St Edmunds around the time Mr McKeague was last seen.

It took a route which appeared to coincide with the movements of his phone.

The bin lorry linked to Mr McKeague's disappearance was initially thought to have collected a 24lb (11kg) load, but police said it was later found to be more than 220lb (100kg).

Nicola Urquhart
Corrie McKeague's mother joined search and rescue volunteers near his base at RAF Honnington in the hope of finding clues (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The initial search of a landfill site at Milton in Cambridgeshire was called off after no evidence of his body was found.

Mr McKeague's girlfriend, April Oliver, announced in June that the missing serviceman had become a father with the birth of their daughter.

Last month, on the one-year anniversary of Mr McKeague going missing, his mother Nicola Urquhart led a group of about 30 people around the town centre in a bid to "jog someone's memory".

Nicola Urquhart
Nicola Urquhart, mother of the missing RAF gunner Corrie McKeague, retraces her son's final steps with brothers Darroch and Makeyan (left) in Bury St Edmunds (Joe Giddens/PA)

Announcing the new search on Tuesday, Ms Elliott said: "We have spoken to Corrie's mum and dad to explain our decision, and share in detail the reasons behind it.

"We will, of course, continue to work together with Corrie's family as the inquiry progresses.

"We can only hope that over the coming weeks the resumption of the search brings the answers that we are all hoping for and especially, of course, for Nicola and (his father) Martin."