Police searching a landfill site for missing airman Corrie McKeague have widened the search are after finding the rubbish has naturally shifted.
They have now completed work on searching the cell at the Milton site that was originally identified and have expanded to peripheral areas which may still hold the answer to Corrie’s disappearance.
Officers have found material which indicated they are in the right area – finding waste that was clearly identifiable as being from Bury St Edmunds and within the right time frame.
However, towards the edges of the area it has also been noticed that the waste may have naturally shifted from the original deposition area.
Police are expanding the search parameters to take this into account and the search will be continuing into the tenth week of work on Monday.
A police spokeswoman said: “Throughout the search, the work being completed has been reviewed. This remains a continuing process, with a number of factors including the dates on items being found and advice from both the police search advisor and the site team being taken into account.
“The officers carrying out the search have been working extremely hard in difficult circumstances – with the nature of the waste being searched through, safety considerations, the weather and the depth of the search required presenting a number of daily challenges.
“Throughout the search Corrie has very much been in the forefront of officers’ minds.”
Other inquiries have been continuing while the search has been going on at Milton, with officers gathering further information about Corrie’s lifestyle and background.
Corrie, 23, went missing on September 24 after a night our in Bury St Edmunds with colleagues from the RAF Regiment at Honington.
He was last seen on CCTV at about 3.25am in the ‘horseshoe’ in Brentgovel Street where the bins of several shops are kept.
Suffolk and Norfolk police officers began searching the landfill site after detectives rechecking data discovered that a bin from Gregg’s weighed about 100kg and not the 11kg they were originally told.
Police say that since then the search has cost £544,250 on top of staffing costs. With staff costs more than £1 million has been spent. They have also been assisted in town and countryside searches by volunteers from Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue (Sulsar).