Garbage truck driver saw ‘smartly dressed’ man in pink shirt, McKeague investigation finds
A garbage truck driver told an inquest he saw a man wearing light-coloured trousers and a pink shirt, like RAF gunner Corrie McKeague was wearing, when he drove into the area where the missing airman was last seen on CCTV.
Mr McKeague, from Dunfermline, Fife, was 23 when he disappeared in the early hours of September 24, 2016 after a night out in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
He was last seen on CCTV at 3.25am that day, entering a service area behind a Greggs store.
Police believe the serviceman, who was stationed at RAF Honington, climbed into a bin which was then tipped into a garbage truck.
Garbage truck driver Martyn Thompson told an Ipswich inquest he arrived at the service area, which was the first stop on his round, at 4.19am.
He said: “I backed up to do Greggs trash and as I put the handbrake on the vehicle I looked out the driver’s window, that’s when I saw another individual.”
He said the man was wearing light colored pants and a pink shirt, leaning against a wall and “looking at a cell phone, while the screen was lit”.
“I thought ‘He’s a well-dressed guy, he’s been out at night,'” Mr Thompson said.
He said he got out of the truck to empty the Greggs bin and then never saw the man again.
Mr Thompson said he did not speak to the man.
Asked by inquest lawyer Peter Taheri if he checked inside the bin before emptying it, Mr Thompson said: ‘I checked the bin because me and one of my colleagues, we always had that thing with that particular job.
“He was over-serviced – Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
“There was always very little in it, two plastic bags.
“I would say ‘What an expletive waste of time’.”
He continued, “I checked it. I lifted the lid, I remember what was inside.
Mr Thompson said he looked ‘far enough to see three clear plastic bags’.
When asked if there was anyone inside the trash can, he replied, “No, there wasn’t.”
Mr. Taheri asked if Mr. Thompson had ‘kicked the trash can good enough to wake anyone inside’, and Mr. Thompson replied: ‘Absolutely, yes.’
Asked if he would be surprised to learn there was ‘more than 100 kg’ (15th 10 lbs) in the bin, Mr Thompson replied: ‘Yes’.
Mr Taheri asked Mr Thompson if he stood by his description that there was not much in the bin, to which he replied: ‘Yes.’
The inquest was heard earlier by Alex Knowles, the bassist of a band that played at a nearby pub and ended at 1am, who described seeing a man asleep in the doorway of a shop .
Mr McKeague was seen on CCTV asleep near the Hughes store for around two hours before heading to the service area behind Greggs.
Mr Knowles said he pushed Mr McKeague with a crutch he was using to try to wake him up, and said in his witness statement that Mr McKeague ‘raised an arm to wave him off. remove”.
He said Mr. McKeague appeared to have containers of food around him.
The investigation is continuing.