The man arrested by detectives searching for missing airman Corrie McKeague is a waste disposal worker who also volunteers as a special constable, it has emerged.
Haydn Stephens (26) was held on suspicion of perverting the course of justice on Wednesday, five months after the RAF gunner was last seen.
He works as a traffic dispatcher for the waste management firm Biffa and helps assign drivers to vehicles and collection routes.
A bin lorry operated by the firm collected rubbish from an area in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, where Corrie (23) was last seen following a night out with friends.
CCTV captured the last sightings of him walking into an area known as The Horseshoe around 3.25am on September 24.
Waste was collected from there just hours later and its route appeared to coincide with the movements of Corrie’s phone.
However, forensics found no trace of him in the vehicle.
Police are preparing to search a huge landfill site 30 miles away in Milton, Cambridgeshire, where the bin lorry later dumped its load.
They said the work will be a ‘considerable task’ as the area identified is more than 920 square metres of waste down to a maximum depth of eight metres.
The search was due to start on February 22 but was delayed due to the sheer scale of the task.
Stephens, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, also works part-time as a Special Constable for Suffolk Police.
In 2013, he was awarded the Eileen Jacob special trophy for showing “true dedication” by working 33 hours in three days.
Stephens has been released on bail as police continue to probe his involvement in the huge missing persons enquiry.
Suffolk police have refused to comment on Stephen’s arrest, but Corrie’s dad Martin McKeague, who’s from Cupar, believes there may be more arrests to come.
Writing on his Facebook page, he said: “There are a number of lines of enquiry that the police are pursuing just now so we’ll just wait and see what we find out about this one.
“In my opinion there’s not just one person out there who is perverting the course of justice in the investigation into Corrie’s disappearance, but several.”
Corrie grew up in Cupar and attended St Columba’s Primary School along with his two brothers, moving to Dunfermline when his mum, Nicola Urquhart, split from Martin.
His grandparents, Mary and Oliver McKeague, who still live in the town, describe Corrie as ‘the life and soul of the party’, but have feared from the start that he was abducted.
Corrie was serving at RAF Honington when he vanished.
It later emerged that his girlfriend, April Oliver, is expecting his child.
Stephens was bailed until April 13.