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Missing airman Corrie McKeague, pictured with his girlfriend April Oliver, vanished after a night out in Bury St Edmunds in 2016 and was never found.
RAF gunman Corrie McKeague, who disappeared in a night in 2016, developed a “significant drinking problem” after his teenage friend died on a train line and he discovered the body, his parents said on the first day of inquiries of him today.
Corrie Mckeague, from Dunfermline, was 23 when he vanished in Bury St Edmunds in 2016https://t.co/HEjgEYVzSk
— BBC Scotland News (@BBCScotlandNews) March 7, 2022
Corrie McKeague Age
Mr McKeague, from Dunfermline, Fife, was 23 when he disappeared in the early hours of September 24, 2016 after being thrown from a nightclub in Bury St Edmunds.
The inquest into his death, which was set to last up to four weeks, began today in Ipswich, the county town of Suffolk, and was joined by his parents, siblings and girlfriend April Oliver.
His body was never found and his father Martin said in a statement that shortly before he disappeared he “argued” with his son after having “words” with him about his drinking.
Describing her son as badly injured in a friend’s suicide when he was 15, his mother Nicola admitted her 23-year-old son loved going out and believed “when a stranger asked him to get into his boot.” go to a party,” he would leave.
Police believe the airman, who was based 10 miles away at RAF Honington, climbed into a rubbish bin, which was then dumped into a refuse truck.
But his mother today doubted the theory. She said: “As far as I know, Corrie has never slept in a bin or climbed into a bin to sleep. He had slept on clothes in garbage bags at a friend’s house, but he never slept in garbage.’
Mr McKeague’s father, Martin McKeague, said in a statement read by attorney Peter Taheri, the inquest’s attorney: “Corrie was a happy child but there were important events that shaped Corrie’s life.
“When Corrie was 10 years old, Nicola (Urquhart, Corrie McKeague’s mother) and I broke up.
“At the age of 15, when he first found the body of his friend who had just been killed on a train line, I think Corrie developed a significant drinking problem.
“During his teenage years, it affected his emotional well-being and tarnished many of his relationships.
“After visiting my hometown of Cupar in 2016 shortly before his disappearance, I had to speak to him again about it.
“We had an argument about it.” He said his last contact with his son was on his birthday, September 16, “when I texted him to wish him a happy birthday and sent him money.”
He said the death of his son’s friend “was a terrible shock to a 15-year-old boy and I don’t think he ever really got over it”.
Mr McKeague continued: “I don’t think Corrie has ever been suicidal. This was a heartbreaking tragedy.’
Mr McKeague’s mother, Nicola Urquhart, said in a statement read by solicitor Andrew Walker ahead of the Ipswich inquest that one of her son’s “very close friends was struck by a train and killed instantly”.
“That event had a huge impact on Corrie,” she said.
She said Mr McKeague trained as a hairdresser, then a physical education teacher, before joining the RAF. While he’s been prescribed antidepressants in the past, she said he “reverted back to his usual happy self” by 2015.
Ms Urquhart said her son “regularly lost his phone or wallet when going out” but had “never been aggressive with or without alcohol”.
“There was nothing to indicate Corrie had any issues or concerns at the time of his disappearance,” she said.
She said he told her he “once ran into a cab, which means he ran away without paying.”
She said that “if a stranger asked him to get into his boot to go to a party,” she believed he would go.
“Despite what the press has said, to my knowledge, Corrie has never slept in a dustbin, nor has he ever climbed into a dustbin to sleep,” Ms Urquhart said.
Mr McKeague’s brother Darroch McKeague said in a statement that Corrie was planning to return to Scotland for Halloween.
He said that when he spoke to his brother on September 23, he was “happy” and “looking forward to his evening”.
Chief Suffolk Coroner Nigel Parsley said Mr McKeague, who had served three years in the RAF, had drunk a “significant amount of alcohol” on the evening of September 23.
He said Mr McKeague had been asked to leave Flex nightclub and “seen on CCTV on several occasions”.
“You see him sometimes alone, sometimes in conversation with others and sees him getting food,” said Mr. Parsley.
He said that at 3.25am on September 24, CCTV detained Mr McKeague entering a horseshoe-shaped area on Brentgovel Street.