The mother of missing airman Corrie McKeague is offering a £50,000 reward for information leading to his return - as a crowdfunding campaign to hire a private investigator exceeded its initial target.
Nicola Urquhart yesterday announced the £50,000 reward, which was provided by a local business couple who wish to remain anonymous.
Corrie’s grandparents, Mary and Oliver McKeague, announced a separate five-figure reward on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign to hire a private investigator to search for Corrie has topped its initial £20,000 target in just over 24 hours. The target has now been increased to £30,000.
Cheryl Hickman, who runs The Bull Inn at Barton Mills, launched the JustGiving page on Tuesday..
Mrs Urquhart wants to use the money to fund the appointment of a private investigator and data analyst.
It will also cover the additional costs of Nicola and Corrie’s brothers Darroch and Makeyan being away from home in Scotland and allowing them to maintain their presence in Bury.
The campaign was set up after Mrs Urquhart criticised the police investigation.
Giving a statement to the Bury Free Press today, she said the police have ‘utterly destroyed’ her confidence that they will find her son.
She said that Suffolk Police have behaved in a way that they’ve ‘utterly destroyed the faith and trust’ she has in them.
Mrs Urquhart added: “I understand about the Government cuts but when it’s your own son this reason is impossible to accept.
“I’ve fully supported the police and continue to do so.
“As a family even though there has been some recent negativity all we want to do is push forward with the positive.”
Earlier this week, Assistant Chief Constable Louisa Pepper said she was ‘absolutely confident’ her officers will do ‘everything they can to find Corrie’.
“They are highly skilled, highly professional and they’re determined to find him and understand the circumstances of his disappearance,” she said.
“We are using the similar sort of resources we would put into a murder investigation, we’re putting in search officers, we’re utilising members of the RAF, we’ve got enquiry teams looking at it so we are putting an inordinate amount of resources into finding him.”
Today they released CCTV images of 12 potential witnesses.
On the crowdfunding campaign, Miss Hickman said: “The target was initially set at £20,000 and that was reached in just over 24 hours which is completely overwhelming.
“The family are now in the process of identifying resources to progress the investigation.
“Sincere thanks to everyone who donated and be assured every penny donated will be spent wisely in the search for Corrie.”
To view the fund-raising page, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helpfindcorrie