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Corrie Mckeague: Mother 'lost faith' in police over missing son

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

The mother of missing serviceman Corrie Mckeague has told BBC Scotland she has lost faith in the police but will continue to work with them.

The RAF gunner from Dunfermline went missing on a night out in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on 24 September.

His mother Nicola Urquhart, a police officer herself, said the family was setting up its own phone lines to take calls about his disappearance.

She also said the support from local people had been "overwhelming".

Corrie Mckeague was last seen on CCTV walking alone and eating fast food in Brentgovel Street, Bury St Edmunds.

In an interview with BBC Radio Scotland's John Beattie programme, his mother said: "It's not the case that he has simply gone Awol, this is being treated as a murder, as a homicide, but without any evidence.

"He walked into a dead end. It's captured on CCTV. You see him walking in at 03.25 and he never comes back out again."

Ms Urquhart said she believed her son may have been taken or gone into a vehicle with a "third party".

Image caption Nicola Urquhart, a police officer herself, said the support she has had from local people has been "overwhelming"

Earlier this week, the 23-year-old serviceman's mother criticised the police effort to find her son.

She told John Beattie: "I've already said so much and criticising the police doesn't help bring Corrie back. I am devastated that I've been put in this position.

"I'm a police officer and I am proud to be a police officer. For me being the person that is going to have criticise them, when I need them so much, it's not something that I want to do."

She said that although she had "lost faith", due to a specific incident, she would keep on working with the police because their aim was the same as hers - "to bring Corrie home".

In a statement, Suffolk Police said finding Mr Mckeague "remains a priority".

Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Corrie Mckeague was last seen walking alone in Bury St Edmunds

A spokesman added: "Our focus remains on locating him and discovering what happened. We have committed time, resources and effort to do this."

In the radio interview, Ms Urquhart, who works for Police Scotland, also spoke about how life had been since her son's disappearance.

"There aren't words to explain what it's like. You just have to find a way of getting up each day and just doing something constructive," she said.

"I'm a family liaison officer in my job, and I thought I understood to some degree what people are going through when they've lost someone, or they are missing, but it doesn't come close."

Ms Urquhart said social media had provided great support to her and her family.

"This is something I would have been scared of before. As a police officer, I've told people 'stay away from social media'. But with the right control, this can be such a powerful tool.

"The compassion and kindness people have shown us is just overwhelming".

Extra phone lines

A campaign to raise money to assist in the search for Mr Mckeague has topped £20,000 in less than two days.

Ms Urquhart said a local couple had also come forward to offer a £50,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to Mr Mckeague being found.

She said the money raised through crowdfunding would help pay for a private investigator and five dedicated phone lines, which family and friends would answer, in a bid to glean more information about where her son may be.

She added: "This is with the hope of assisting the police, as opposed to trying to carry out my own personal investigation.

"If someone knows something, or has a friend or relative that's been acting strangely, give us that information.

"If you've walked past somewhere and thought something just doesn't feel right, phone up the phone number."

"We do have the time and the resources to be able to go out and search every single place and we will, because we will not stop until we get Corrie home."

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