Detectives hunting for missing Fife airman Corrie McKeague are finding items “from the right time frame” as they continue to search a landfill site for clues.
Specialist search teams have so far sifted through around 4,430 tonnes of waste as they look for the RAF gunner, who disappeared eight months ago.
They have so far found no trace of the 23-year-old but confirmed they are now working in an area of the tip which contains waste from the weekend Corrie went missing.
The search was due to finish last week but was expanded as items dating back to last September continued to emerge.
RAF serviceman Corrie McKeague was last seen at at 3.24am on September 24, following a night out with friends in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
Today Suffolk Police said the search at the landfill site in Milton, Cambridgeshire which is in its 12th week, will now continue on a week-by-week basis.
A statement released by the force read: “The search at the landfill site will continue as officers work to trace missing Corrie McKeague.
“Specialist officers from Suffolk and Norfolk police have been searching the area of the landfill site which was identified as holding waste from the Bury St Edmunds area in the relevant time period.
“The work is constantly being reviewed and, as the search team are still finding items from the right time frame that are identifiable as coming from the town, the search will continue on a week by week basis.
“Throughout the search officers have been working to understand exactly where waste was deposited and how it may have been spread out during the process.
“This week police will be bulk-moving further material to allow the work to continue.
“This is being done to ensure all parts of the relevant area are covered following further detailed and specific work completed around the GPS positioning of the vehicle which brought the waste to the site.
“This has led to an expansion of the original search parameters as work continues to locate anything that may help the investigation into Corrie’s disappearance.
“Around 4,430 tonnes of waste have been searched through.”
The landfill search, which has cost around £500,000 to date, was sparked after it transpired the weight of a bin taken from the horseshoe – where Corrie disappeared – was incorrect.
Detectives were initially told the bin did not weigh enough to contain a person of his weight.
However, earlier this year police revealed this information was false – the bin actually weighed more than 100kg.
Corrie’s Nokia Lumia phone was traced along a route similar to that of the bin lorry after it pinged a mast at Barton Mills, Suffolk, shortly after he was last seen on CCTV.
Father-to-be Corrie, whose girlfriend April Oliver is expecting their first child, has not been in contact with anyone, and has not been seen since.
Responding to the latest police update, Corrie’s mother Nicola Urquhart said: “In simple terms it means the search continues.
“The police have searched the cell which is an area shaped like a bowl. They are now searching the area at the sides of the cell.
“Again the simplest way of describing this is, as rubbish is placed in the cell big machines are used to level it out. This causes the waste to be moved around.
“Understandably this is not an exact science so the police have now checked the tachograph of the lorry and it’s GPS to acurately discover where the cab has parked.
“(This is not a simple process.) So they now have a slightly more accurate area still in the same cell area to search.
“There is no time scale being placed on this, the police will review this daily and continue to search for as long as they find items relating to the area and date range Corrie disappeared.
“Waiting is hard, for us all. I do still however believe that this is the most logical place to be searched.
“Our gratitude to Suffolk police for continuing this search is immeasurable, I pray we get answers.
“Thank you all, once again for the very bottom of my heart for remaining on here and supporting my family. We truly would not be where we are without you all.”
Corrie is originally from Fife and moved down to Suffolk to live at RAF Honington where he worked as a gunner and team medic in the air force.
Anyone with information about his disappearance is asked to call the incident room at Suffolk Police on 01473 782019.