THE mum of missing Dunfermline airman Corrie McKeague has criticised Suffolk Constabulary for the various failures she believes they made during the investigation into his disappearance.

Corrie, a former pupil of St Columba’s High School, disappeared on a night out with friends in Bury St Edmunds close to his RAF Honington base on September 24, 2016, at the age of 23.

Police believe the most probable explanation is that Corrie ended up in the back of a bin lorry in the ‘Horseshoe’ area of the town some time after 3.24am and was transported to a landfill site but no trace was found of him after an extensive search.

In March 2018, the investigation was stopped after a spend of £2 million and handed over to a cold case squad.

This week, on the third anniversary of that fateful night, mum Nicola Urquhart, herself a police officer, told the Press: “In the first week, the police knew everything and since then I’ve never been told anything new.

“Since they stopped searching the landfill, the police have not done anything active in the case, other than answer the questions that I have been asking them.

“I was just fighting to get the truth off them.

“They were happy with their answers, that was it, it was going to a cold case and I never got the answers I was looking for.”

One of Nicola’s major concerns is that the senior officer who was first in charge of the investigation, Detective Superintendent Mike Brown, no longer led the inquiry after the landfill search ended.

She said: “My initial reaction was, ‘Have I given the poor man a heart attack? Or has he done something wrong? Because that does affect me.

“They wouldn’t tell me and I got a new inspector that came in place of him.

“I started working with her for nearly a year and that was a joke. Nothing was ever done.

“Although they were saying that the investigation was ongoing, updates didn’t materialise.

“They were talking about it going to a cold case but that was it, it was done. That was all just lip service to try and keep me on board. Nothing was going on, it was just me getting answers.”

Nicola claims the family were told contradictory things such as how many vehicles went into the ‘Horseshoe’ area. She claims police first said there was only one that went into the dead-end but what finally transpired that was there were five vehicles.

And she claims the immediate area where Corrie disappeared has still not been searched properly and that police don’t have any CCTV footage after 7am on the morning he disappeared because they didn’t recover it in time.

“Not searching the immediate area, saying they’re not going to do and there’s no reason - that’s ok if there was another line of inquiry but they still haven’t done that,” Nicola added.

“There were some searches but not all the derelict buildings.

“He could have just been lying there and they don’t know because they’ve not searched. It’s like, wow, just do the basics first.

“They also held back pictures which is wrong in a missing person inquiry.

“Their biggest concern was that they didn’t want the public to think this was terrorism. It was what they were most terrified of because there had been an attempted abduction of a boy at RAF Marham just a few weeks before.

“That was why they constantly said there was no third-party involvement. It was a silly drunk boy who wandered up the road and this was the narrative they wanted to sell from the beginning, which did affect the inquiry because this was a missing person and they needed as many people coming forward as possible saying, ‘This is what I saw’. If there was no third-party involvement, nobody is looking at their dashcam or thinking about him walking with a group of people.

“I think they truly believed that they would find him on the search back to RAF Honington and if they didn’t there was nothing else they could do.”

Nicola believes the simplest explanation of what happened to Corrie is that he could have gone to the toilet in the Horseshoe, put his phone down on the bin, gone walking down the road but was then hit by a vehicle.

“The police have another theory they go with but they have to justify with the public why they spent that money,” she said.

“There was a huge amount of work around the bins but they never found one single thing despite finding the exact rubbish from that bin.”

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “The inquiry into Corrie McKeague’s disappearance was reviewed at various points by senior officers within the Constabulary and external experts, including the East Midlands Special Operations Unit.

“The unit’s report concluded Suffolk police conducted a thorough and detailed investigation, and explored all reasonable lines of enquiry.

“It also endorsed the primary hypothesis that Corrie ended up in the waste disposal process.

“In the late summer of 2018, we reached the point where there were no realistic lines of enquiry left to pursue following Corrie’s disappearance, and therefore closed the investigation.

“The situation remains that unless any new, realistic and credible information becomes available the investigation is complete.

“Suffolk Constabulary is extremely disappointed we were not able to find Corrie so we could at least provide some definitive answers for his family about what happened to him. We appreciate the third anniversary of Corrie’s disappearance is likely to be a particularly difficult time for his family, and our thoughts are with them.”

Police have provided a web link which includes their answers to Frequently Asked Questions associated with Corrie’s disappearance. To find out more, visit