Police investigating the disappearance of missing airman Corrie McKeague say they have ‘reached the point where there are no realistic lines of enquiry left to pursue’.
While the inquiry into his disappearance has been ended, the case will remain open and move to the major investigation cold case team.
Corrie, who grew up in Cupar, was just 23 when he went missing following a night out with colleagues in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, in September 2016.
Suffolk Police said there is nothing to suggest any foul play or third party involvement.
Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott said: “It is extremely disappointing that we have not been able to find Corrie. I can only imagine the strain Corrie’s family have been under over the past 18 months and I thank them for their patience and understanding.
“Whilst the investigation has drawn to a natural conclusion we will continue to work with the family to provide answers to their questions and help them understand what may have happened.
“Since Corrie disappeared, police have been exploring all proportionate and relevant lines of enquiry.
“We have now reached a point where we are unable to make any further progress, and have gone as far as we realistically can with the information we have.
“If any new, credible and proportionate enquiries relating to Corrie’s disappearance emerge we will pursue them.”
Suffolk Police says it has been re-examining the evidence relating to all realistic theories since November, however, assessment of the evidence still points to Corrie being transported from the ‘horseshoe’ area in a bin lorry and ultimately taken to the Milton landfill site.
Any new evidence will be followed up by officers.
Assistant Chief Constable Simon Megicks from Suffolk Constabulary, said: “Saddened as I am that we have not found Corrie, I have absolute confidence in the way the investigation was conducted.
“The major investigation team inquiry has been reviewed at various points by senior officers within the constabulary and external experts, including the East Midlands Special Operations Unit.
“The unit’s report concludes police have conducted a thorough and detailed investigation, and explored all reasonable lines of enquiry.
“It also endorses the primary hypothesis that Corrie ended up in the waste disposal process.”