Mother of missing RAF gunner Corrie McKeague fears bones found in Suffolk river could be her son’s


Mother of missing RAF gunner Corrie McKeague who vanished in 2016 fears human bones found in Suffolk river could be her son’s

  • Suffolk Police launched a murder investigation when bones were found in river
  • Nicola Urquhart says police have been unable to reassure its not her son Corrie
  • Corrie McKeague, 23, vanished after a night out in Bury St Edmunds in 2016 
  • No trace of the RAF serviceman has ever been found by police officers and the investigation into his disappearance was handed to cold case detectives in 2018 

The mother of missing airman Corrie McKeague has said that police have been unable to reassure her that bones found in bin bags in a Suffolk river are not her son’s.

Nicola Urquhart said she was ‘trying to keep a sensible head on’ after the discovery of human remains in the River Stour in Sudbury on August 27.

Mr McKeague, of Dunfermline, Fife, was 23 when he vanished on a night out in Bury St Edmunds, around 16 miles north of Sudbury, on September 24 2016.

Nicola Urquhart, mother of missing airman Corrie McKeague

Nicola Urquhart (right) has said she fears bones found in the River Stour could be those of her son RAF gunner Corrie McKeague who vanished after a night out in Bury St Edmunds in 2016

The bones were discovered in the River Stour and police say a post-mortem examination was not able to establish any form of identification or a cause of death and more tests are needed

The bones were discovered in the River Stour and police say a post-mortem examination was not able to establish any form of identification or a cause of death and more tests are needed

No trace of Corrie’s body has ever been found, despite extensive searches of a landfill site in Suffolk near RAF Honington where he served. 

A murder inquiry was launched following the discovery of bones inside two black bins bags pulled from the River Stour around 4.35pm last Thursday. 

Suffolk Police said that a post-mortem examination of the bones was completed on Sunday but ‘was not able to establish any form of identification or cause of death’.

The force said further tests are now taking place, adding that this will be a ‘lengthy process’.

Ms Urquhart told the East Anglian Daily Times: ‘Most times when remains or bodies have been found, the police down in Suffolk have been able to put my mind at rest that it’s not Corrie very quickly.

Officers from Suffolk Constabulary search the River Stour in Sudbury for trace evidence after human bones were discovered last Thursday. A murder investigation has been launched

Officers from Suffolk Constabulary search the River Stour in Sudbury for trace evidence after human bones were discovered last Thursday. A murder investigation has been launched

Corrie McKeague's mother Nicola Urquhart has said officers have been unable to reassure her that the bones found in the River Stour are not those of her son after he disappeared in 2016

Corrie McKeague’s mother Nicola Urquhart has said officers have been unable to reassure her that the bones found in the River Stour are not those of her son after he disappeared in 2016

Suffolk Constabulary are appealing to the public for information after bones were discovered

Suffolk Constabulary are appealing to the public for information after bones were discovered

‘After speaking to me, they’ll be able to tell me that they already think they know who the person is or, for whatever reason, they know it’s not Corrie.

‘Unfortunately, on this occasion, they’ve not been able to do that.

‘So I think the hard thing is that, whether this is Corrie or not, this is somebody’s son or daughter – and it’s whether anybody will ever find out because they might not be able to identify who this person is.’

She added: ‘It’s just about trying to keep a sensible head on, and not letting your head start making things up and thinking a million thoughts.

‘It is really difficult just to wait until you get an answer because there’s as much chance of this not being Corrie as it being Corrie but it’s going to be someone’s son or daughter.

‘It’s just awful.’

CCTV of missing RAF serviceman Corrie McKeague in Brentgovel Street in Bury St Edmunds

CCTV of missing RAF serviceman Corrie McKeague in Brentgovel Street in Bury St Edmunds

The investigation into Mr McKeague’s disappearance was passed to cold case detectives in March 2018.

Suffolk Police said the ‘most likely scenario’ is that Mr McKeague went into a bin which was emptied into a lorry and ended up in the waste process.

Corrie was seen on CCTV entering the area known as the ‘horseshoe’ – a bin loading area behind Greggs bakery – in Bury St Edmunds at 3.24am on Saturday, September 24, 2016, following a night out in the town.

In March 2017, extensive searches took place at a landfill site in Milton, Cambridgeshire, after police said new information suggested he may have ended up in the Suffolk waste disposal system.

No trace of him has been found.

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