Christmas without Corrie

Mary and Oliver McKeague with a picture of their grandson Corrie, who's been missing for over three months  (photo: Dave Scott)
Mary and Oliver McKeague with a picture of their grandson Corrie, who's been missing for over three months (photo: Dave Scott)

The family of missing airman Corrie McKeague have told how Christmas will pass them by this year as the search for him continues.

Corrie has not been seen since the early hours of September 24, shortly after his 23rd birthday.

He vanished following a night out in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, a few miles from his base at RAF Honington, and so far there have no clues as to his whereabouts.

This week Corrie’s dad Martin and his grandparents Mary and Oliver, who all live in Cupar, told the Fife Herald that they believe Corrie has been abducted and that they will never see him again.

Martin (48) is currently staying with his wife Patricia near Bury St Edmunds and said he would not be returning to Cupar for Christmas.

And Corrie’s gran Mary told how life had come to a standstill.

Mary told the Fife Herald how she and Oliver had put up a five-figure sum as a reward for information leading to the safe return of Corrie almost as soon as he went missing.

His disappearence happened soon after the attempted abduction of another airman from RAF Marham in Norfolk.

The two armed assailants, described by police as being of ‘Middle Eastern descent’, are still at large.

“I have thought from the very start that my son has been taken by someone,” said Martin.

“I’m certain a third party must have been involved, as for Corrie to just disappear is completely and utterly out of character. It is absolutely heartbreaking.”

Contrary to some reports, Corrie is not a native of Dunfermline but grew up in Cupar and attended St Columba’s Primary School with his brothers Makeyan, who’ll be 26 next month, and Darroch (21).

They moved to Dunfermline with their mum, Nicola Urquhart, when she and Martin split.

“They are lovely boys, all three of them,” said Mary.

“Corrie had a spark about him; he loved life and was always the life and soul of the party.

“He would phone his brothers every day and spoke to Darroch the night he went missing about their plans for the following week.

“I am beginning to get my head round the fact that something serious has happened.

“I think Corrie’s been taken and I don’t believe he’s still alive.

“We are not doing anything for Christmas this year; life has just come to a standstill.”

Both Martin and Mary had nothing but praise for the police, the RAF and Suffolk Search and Rescue team and said they had been ‘overwhelmed by the support they’d been shown.