— The Night Out —
On September 24 2016, a 23-year-old RAF airman, Corrie McKeague vanished from Suffolk, England after a night out. He drove to Bury St Edmunds the previous day. On the 24, he left his friends after being at the nightclub, Flex. He was asked to leave by the bouncer as it looked like he had a too much to drink. Will (the bouncer who asked him to leave) explained it was a normal night out and emphasised Corrie was causing no trouble.
“He wasn’t too drunk but was worth keeping an eye on. He carried on drinking and got progressively worse. He was too intoxicated to still be there.”
After Corrie was asked to leave, he spoke to Will outside and according to him the conversation was just general chat. Corrie was a regular at the club and came in with friends previously, but that night he was on his own. After having the conversation with Will, Corrie visited his favourite takeaway ‘Pizza Mama Mia’ – a normal habit for people who have been drinking to do.
After being asked to leave, he passed CCTV at around 1.20am opposite The Grapes Pub. He then took a nap for around two hours in a shop doorway of Hughes Electrical Store. It was then at around 3.24am that Corrie got up from the doorway and headed past the junction of St Johns Street and down a pathway (towards Cornhill Walk). At 3.25am, he turned right into the ‘Horseshoe’ which is a loading/refuse collection area. He is caught on CCTV in Brentgovel Street – this is the last confirmed sighting of Corrie.
As Corrie does not turn up for work on Monday, people know something is wrong. He is reported missing in the afternoon and the next day info is released to the public.
— Mobile Phone Signal / Theories —
Corrie’s phone has never been found but its signal was picked up in the early hours of Saturday in Bury town centre. But at 8am, it was 12 miles away in Barton Mills. Police soon figured out that its movements matched that of a bin-lorry which had been in the Horseshoe shortly after Corrie was last seen – it travelled to a landfill site.
Many believe Corrie had slept in a bin or somehow ended up in the lorry but his mum says he wasn’t the type of person that would have slept there. She said he always took pride in his appearance and if he wanted to sleep, his car was only a short distance away.
Data from the bin-lorry indicated that its weight was only 11kg (far too light to have Corrie inside), because of this, police decided not to search the landfill site. It later emerged that it actually carried a load of 100kg and therefore there was a strong possibility that Corrie was inside. Police began their search but after four months of searching, they called it off on July 21. Within days, 25,000 people signed a petition for the search to be resumed and #FindCorrie was trending. His father had even said he would block the entrance to the landfill site until the police resume their search. Although his phone was moving at a similar pace and path to the bin-lorry, police believed his body would have been detected long before it reached the landfill site.
Forensic pathologist Dr Stuart Hamilton said that if he had been in the lorry and crushed, his body would have decomposed at a faster rate. “A lot of information will have been lost, and there would be a greater potential for contamination.” Corrie’s dad said “From the leads and the facts the police have, he must be in the landfill. If it does come back that Corrie’s in the landfill, I fully expect them to search there again.”
— More Information —
September 24 @ 3.24am – 4.30am: Police were able to trace Corrie’s mobile phone from Bury to the Barton Mills area (near Mildenhall) at a speed only a vehicle could travel at. His phone was not used after this and it has not been found. The timings of the movement of his phone match that of a bin lorry known to have travelled between the towns at the time. The bin lorry is seized. The phone has still not been found.
According his mother, Nicola Urquhart, Corrie experienced a traumatic encounter. He had been at a friend’s birthday party where things had later got our of hand. The police were called and the group decided to move the party in the nearby woods in order to avoid disturbing anyone. The woods were the other side of a railway track and Corrie’s friend was on the track as a train was going 70mph. The train struck her and Corrie saw her body.
Nicola said it “changed him so much. He really did then have the attitude of ‘I won’t waste my life. If I want to do something fun, I will do it. I will take chances because you don’t know what’s around the corner tomorrow’.”
Corrie’s eight-month-old puppy, Louell, had been shut in his room at RAF Honington and it was emphasised that Corrie would not have left him alone. Another thing that was out of character was the fact he hadn’t spoken to any of his family members or anyone else from home over the weekend.
Nicola said after she received the call from her son to say he was missing, she remembered an attempted abduction of a serviceman at RAF Marham in Norfolk – about 30 miles away from Corrie’s base at Honington. At the time, police said they couldn’t discount terrorism as a motive. She phoned the guard’s office at RAF Honington but the police were already there investigating Corrie’s last known movements.
She also said she received calls suggesting Corrie could have been left for dead on the night he went missing. Theories continue to emerge but the family and police and no closer to the truth. The reward money has now been doubled to £100,000 and there is still one person left Suffolk police want to identify and talk to. Visit here to see if you can help – FindCorrie.co.uk
On October 23 2017, it was announced the search would resume. Since his disappearance, his girlfriend has given birth to their baby daughter. April found out she was pregnant two weeks after Corrie had disappeared. Corrie also has a Scottish accent.