A missing airman died while ‘out on the lash’ after climbing into a garbage bin which was emptied into a refuse truck, an inquest has heard.
Corrie McKeague went missing following a night ‘on the lash’ in Bury St Edmunds, , in the early hours of 24 September 2016.
Despite no trace of Mr McKeague ever being found, Suffolk’s senior coroner, Nigel Parsley, said that he “died in the Suffolk jurisdiction in September 2016”.
Marina Ericson, Temporary Chief Superintendent of Suffolk Police, said that Mr McKeague is believed to have died after climbing into a Greggs bin which was emptied into a Biffa waste lorry.
She also added that he had originally driven to the area to meet with RAF colleagues on the evening of 23 September.
“Witnesses also described him as being happy and friendly throughout the evening.”
Mr McKeague, who was from Dunfermline, Scotland, was last seen alive on CCTV footage at 3.25am where he entered a horseshoe-shaped area in Brentgovel Street.
This area is situated behind a Superdrug and Greggs store and contains a number of industrial waste bins.
Ms Ericson said that the industrial bins had been collected at 4.19am the same morning.
At the time, the Greggs bin was weighed 116kg (18st 3lb), “this was around 70kg to 80kg (12st 8lb) more than its average weight,” she said.
“Corrie’s mobile phone, having connected to the internet, provided a signal from this point which mapped the movements of the waste lorry to the Barton Mills roundabout.
“At that point, the mobile service provider lost the signal.”
Ms Ericson added: “Despite an extensive police-led investigation and search, there has been no proof of life since the last sighting of Corrie at 3.25am on Saturday 24 September 2016.
The coroner said: “On the basis of the evidence I’ve heard I will open an inquest into Corrie’s tragic death.”
The hearing, which was held in Ipswich, was opened and adjourned yesterday (Friday)and a pre-inquest review hearing is scheduled for 5 February.
Mr McKeague’s mother, Nicola Urquhart,said she is “extremely hopeful that this will give us answers”.
Whilst Father, Martin McKeague, added: “This will put the truth out to the public.
“There’s no mystery. We’re not finding out any new news here.
“The facts and evidence that we’ve been presented with tell us that’s what happened to him.”
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