Police have denied reports that they ‘ignored’ a van driver’s claimed sighting of missing airman Corrie McKeague crossing the A11.
Suffolk Police have been backed up by Corrie’s dad Martin McKeague who says it and other claimed sightings were investigated early in the search for the missing RAF Regiment airman.
Delivery driver Roy Hawes told the Mirror at the weekend that he had seen Corrie, wearing the distnctive pink shirt he was last seen in, crossing the A11 at Barton Mills about an hour after he was last seen in Bury St Edmunds on September 24.
He said: “He stood out because it was 4.30am, very cold and he was in shirt sleeves.”
The Mirror said his report was ‘not followed up’.
But Suffolk Police said today that they had located Mr Hawes report, which was not made until November.
A spokeswoman said: “No description of the person could be given, and it was said to have been around 4am but the caller could not be specific about the day. The time given was prior to Corrie’s phone leaving Bury St Edmunds and there was nothing to link this to Corrie.
“As part of early enquiries, police carried out searches in the Barton Mills area to see if Corrie could be located, and carried out extensive CCTV viewing, which showed no positive sightings of Corrie leaving the area on foot.
“Our investigation continues and currently remains focused on the search at Milton landfill site after the weight of a refuse bin taken from Bury St Edmunds was found to be significantly higher than first thought.”
The landfill site search resumed today after a break for the weekend.
Martin McKeague backed-up the police claim on social media saying “We were made aware of this sighting way back when it was first reported. What I can tell you is that this sighting, and the many others like it, most certainly was looked into by the police.”
Meanwhile, Corrie’s mum Nicola Urquhart has said on Facebook that she will never give up looking for him.
Writing on the Facebook group ‘Find Corrie’, Nicola wrote: “As the days have turned into months it’s so difficult to remain positive that we will find Corrie.
“What I am positive of, is I will never stop trying.
“The police are still searching the area round the landfill they are doing this because they still believe they will find Corrie there. So all I can do. Is wait.
“There is no new news and nothing has been found in connection with Corrie.”
She mentioned that the search had stopped over the bank holiday and added: “I hope the police officers involved can enjoy time with their families as they deserve the break so much.”