Corrie Mckeague: Fund target for missing airman reached

Nicola Urquhart
Image caption Nicola Urquhart said she the public support has helped her "even in my darkest moments"

The mother of a missing airman has expressed her gratitude after a fundraising target to help find her son was reached within weeks.

Corrie Mckeague, 23, vanished from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on 24 September.

More than £51,000 has been raised to fund a private investigator. Donations have come from almost 5,000 people.

Nicola Urquhart told supporters: "Even in my darkest moments when I just want to crumble you all just keep giving me the strength to carry on fighting."

What do we know about Corrie Mckeague's disappearance?

Her son, a gunner at RAF Honington, was last seen at about 03:25 BST walking alone in the Suffolk market town.

Image copyright Suffolk Constabulary
Image caption Corrie Mckeague went missing after a night out in Bury St Edmunds

He was seen walking into a dead-end loading bay area known at the "horseshoe" but not seen coming out again.

In response to Mrs Urquhart's frustrations with the police investigation, a crowdfunding site to hire a private investigator was set up on 6 December.

Mrs Urquhart, from Dunfermline, told donors: "You have given us the ability to get information that might just be that vital piece that brings Corrie home.

"We just could not have considered these opportunities without your amazing kindness."

A private investigator has not yet been hired.

Mrs Urquhart said if she does not hire one, the money would go to Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue which has been assisting the search effort.

Image copyright PA/Stefan Rousseau
Image caption Mrs Urquhart said she is organising another public search for her son

Mrs Urquhart said she had halted her search for a private investigator after Suffolk Police agreed to investigate three men attempting to set fire to a vehicle on 25 September.

Police said the incident had been investigated and there was nothing to link it to Mr Mckeague's disappearance.

A second public search for Mr Mckeague will take place on 22 January. More than 60 volunteers joined in the first on 17 December.

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