Has missing RAF serviceman been abducted?

© Suffolk Police
Police have expanded the search for a missing RAF serviceman who was last seen over a week ago, amid fears the 23 year old may have been abducted.

Corrie McKeague, a serviceman based at RAF Honignton in Suffolk, was last seen early Saturday morning in the town of Bury St. Edmunds, 12km south of the base. CCTV footage released by Suffolk Police shows McKeague leave the Grapes pub around 3am last Saturday morning.

On Monday morning, Suffolk police released images of the pink Ralph Lauren shirt and brown suede Timberland boots McKeague is believed to have been wearing at the time of his disappearance.

A team of 26 officers and a police helicopter have been searching the area between the base and the town for the last week, but have so far failed to turn up any trace of the man. The search has now been extended further afield by the RAF, Suffolk Police, Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue, and the National Police Helicopter service.

McKeague’s mother Nicola Urqhart has suggested that police are examining the possibility of kidnapping.

“It’s not something they [police] would rule out,” she told the Sunday Times.

“It’s looking more and more suspicious as time goes on that they’re not actually finding him.

“It [kidnapping] is something that they’re thinking of. Obviously it is something they’re looking at, but it’s certainly not something they’re shouting about to me,” she said.

Police have urged anyone with any information on the serviceman’s disappearance to come forward.

A Suffolk Police spokesperson said on Saturday that while that there was “no evidence of any third-party involvement at this stage," police “have to keep an open mind.”

“At this stage there is no evidence to suggest that there is any link to the recent incident at RAF Marham,” she added, referring to a case in July when two men attempted to abduct an RAF serviceman near RAF Marham, 30 miles (48km) away from Bury St. Edumuds .

The victim in that incident fought off the would-be kidnappers as they threatened him with a knife and attempted to pull him into a car. At the time, Norfolk Police said the suspects may have been part of a “larger team.”