Suffolk

Corrie Mckeague: Mother's appeal over missing airman son

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Media captionNicola Urquhart spoke at a press conference asking for help to find her son

The mother of a missing airman has appealed for anyone who saw her "good-looking lad" to contact police.

Corrie Mckeague, based at RAF Honington in Suffolk, disappeared after a night out in Bury St Edmunds nine days ago.

Nicola Urquhart said someone would have seen her 23-year-old son at "three o'clock in the morning walking in a pink shirt and white trousers".

Her plea to find him comes after police revealed they had seized a bin lorry believing it may contain his phone.

Mr Mckeague was last spotted on CCTV walking alone and eating fast food in Bury St Edmunds at 03:20 BST on 24 September.

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Image copyright Suffolk Constabulary
Image caption Corrie Mckeague is described as white, 5ft 10ins, of medium build, with short light brown hair
Image caption Data showed Mr Mckeague's phone has not been used since it was tracked to Barton Mills

Mrs Urquhart, of Dunfermline, Fife, attended a police press conference in Bury St Edmunds with two of her sons, telling reporters his disappearance had been "hard" for the family.

"This is about finding him - this is not Corrie, he would not do this out of choice," she said.

"We are an incredibly, incredibly close family.

"My son has disappeared - so somebody please, if anyone knows anything, get in touch, get in touch with Suffolk Police.

"We would like him to come home, we would like him to come home soon, so please get in touch."

Mrs Urquhart said he had spoken to one of his brothers on the phone four times the day before he vanished.

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Media captionCCTV shows missing serviceman Corrie Mckeague

Mr Mckeague has been based at RAF Honington for three years and his mother said he had never gone missing before.

She appealed for people to check their gardens and properties in a bid to find him.

CCTV indicated Mr Mckeague, who was out with RAF colleagues, stopped for a nap in a doorway before getting up and moving on.

"Once he goes out he is a creature of habit - he will leave absolutely on his own," said Mrs Urquhart.

"He will go and get food and if he has to lay down and have a sleep before he goes home he will. Nothing in his behaviour was remotely unusual," she said.

"What is absolutely out of character is that he would not contact one of us."

Image caption The Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue have scoured roadsides, fields and river banks

Police said they did not believe Mr Mckeague still had his mobile phone after data showed it moved to nearby Barton Mills, matching the route of a bin lorry.

The phone has not been used since it was pinpointed to the location, which is about 10 miles (16km) from Bury.

Police said they were "exploring the possibility that the phone may have been lost or discarded as the timings of the movement has been found to coincide with that of a bin lorry".

Image caption Nicola Urquhart appealed for people to help find her son Corrie Mckeague

Over the weekend, searches by police, the RAF, Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue and a National Police Air Service helicopter were carried out, but have not revealed "any new information".

Checks in Bury St Edmunds were also held a week after the last confirmed sighting of Mr Mckeague in Brentgovel Street.

Police said he could have been in the area of Mildenhall between 04:30 and 08:00 on the Saturday.

They said they wanted to hear from anyone who may have seen or spoken to a man matching Mr Mckeague's description in the area at the time.

Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Police have released photos of the clothes Mr Mckeague was believed to have been wearing at the time of his disappearance
Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Mr Mckeague was thought to be wearing a pair of Timberland brown suede boots and a pink Ralph Lauren Polo shirt when he vanished

Speculation that Mr Mckeague may have been kidnapped has been played down by police, who said they were keeping an "open mind" to all possibilities.

A police spokesman said the main line of inquiry was Mr Mckeague had attempted to walk home after his night out.

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