When you’re young and things are going well, it’s easy to seem happy and carefree. You’re invincible—nothing can stop you. What’s not easy is thinking about the fact that, at any moment, your entire world could come crashing down around you.

That may have been the case for 23-year-old U.K. resident Corrie McKeague. He got along well with his family, his friends, and his girlfriend, and he was living his dream as a gunner for the Royal Air Force.

Yet everything changed in an instant. On a seemingly ordinary night of joyful (and drunken) revelry, Corrie suddenly disappeared without a trace… and people still don’t know what happened to him.

Twenty-three-year-old Corrie McKeague was born in Perth, Scotland. A gunner for the Royal Air Force, he relocated to RAF Honington station, near the Suffolk, England town of Bury St. Edmunds.

1-corrie-mckeagueTwitter / Danny Smith

Corrie initially wanted to become a hairstylist, but decided instead to train as a fitness instructor at Perth College University. He’d always dreamed of joining the Royal Air Force, however.

2-corrie-mckeagueMidweek Herald

Corrie’s lifelong dream became a reality in October 2013, when he joined the RAF Honington No. 2 Squadron as a gunner.

3-corrie-mckeagueFind Corrie

 Corrie had a great relationship with his family. He absolutely loved his girlfriend, and he even had a dog. Life was good for this young soldier!

4-corrie-mckeagueFind Corrie

Then everything changed on September 23, 2016, on what seemed like an ordinary evening.

5-corrie-mckeagueFacebook / Nicola Urquhart

Corrie had been on the phone with his brother for approximately an hour after parking his car; he was waiting to meet up with some friends at a local hot spot called So Bar.

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His friends arrived and they all sang a song with rock musician Nick Lowe, who knew Corrie as a fixture on the local pub scene in Bury St. Edmonds.

7-corrie-mckeagueFacebook / So Bar

At 11:30 p.m., the group left So Bar and moved on to Wetherspoons, a U.K.-based pub chain nearby. Those with Corrie observed that he was jovial and friendly, chatting with several different folks that he’d met.

8-corrie-mckeagueJD Wetherspoon

By 12:30 a.m., while at yet another nightclub, staff noticed he was visibly intoxicated. Thirty minutes later, he was amicably escorted out by security.


At that point, Corrie was on his own. He went to Pizza Mamma Mia for a kebab, burgers, and fries. He even played rock-paper-scissors with a total stranger.


Later, closed circuit TV captured Corrie falling asleep by the doorway of a store after eating his food. Two hours later, he woke up and texted a picture to one of his friends. Nobody heard from him again after that.

11-corrie-mckeagueVimeo / Suffolk Police

At 3:25 a.m., CCTV captured the last known footage of Corrie as he made a right turn and headed to an area behind a store.

12-corrie-mckeagueVimeo / Suffolk Police

By the morning of September 26, when he failed to show up at RAF Honington, he was officially reported as a missing person. Since it was “out of character” for him, his superiors didn’t report him as AWOL; instead, they were gravely concerned for his safety.

13-corrie-mckeagueVimeo / Suffolk Police

In fact, earlier that year at RAF Marham just 35 miles away, there was an incident in which unidentified assailants attempted to abduct a different serviceman. They were never found, although officials suspect that they might have been terrorists. Authorities speculated that the two disappearances might have some sort of connection.

14-corrie-mckeagueVimeo / Suffolk Police

Police continued their investigation, questioning as many witnesses as they could who were in the vicinity that night, as well as scanning film for possible suspects. More than 80,000 people joined a Facebook group dedicated to locating Corrie, with the hashtag #findcorrie trending on Twitter.

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According to experts, CCTV footage made it clear that nobody could have left the area without being seen again on camera. So how did Corrie vanish so mysteriously?

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Nicola Urquhart, Corrie’s mother, said in December that she’d lost faith in the police’s investigation, and was going to take matters into her own hands. She set up a search in the woods outside RAF Honington, though it was fruitless. While she had yet to uncover any additional clues, she said she believed a vehicle took him away—a trace on Corrie’s phone showed it had traveled several miles after he was last seen.

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Some suggested could have attempted to walk home and was hit by a moving vehicle—but that wouldn’t explain how he disappeared from CCTV. In the meantime, the search continued.

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New information continues to trickle in as the investigation persists, and sadly, so do rumors—to the point that his brother even had to deny killing Corrie (he was much too far from the incident for such a thing to even be possible). Hopefully, though, people will respect the sensitivity of the situation. More importantly, let’s hope that Corrie turns up soon.

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