Police have ended a five-month search of a landfill site after finding "no trace" of missing RAF gunner Corrie McKeague.
Officers completed their hunt through more than 6,400 tons of waste at Milton landfill site, Cambridgeshire, for the 23-year-old on Friday afternoon.
The serviceman, from Fife in Scotland, disappeared after a night out with friends in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on 24 September last year.
There is nothing to support any other explanation than Mr McKeague being in a bin that was emptied into a waste lorry shortly after he was last seen, according to Suffolk Police.
Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott revealed on Friday the force has credible information Mr McKeague had been known to go to sleep in rubbish following a night out.
She described the failure to find Mr McKeague during the unprecedented search of the more than 48-hectare landfill site as bitterly disappointing.
Det. Supt. Elliott said: Without anything further to tell us where he might be on such a vast site the search cannot continue.
Officers have been finding items such as newspapers and other material that have September 2016 dates on them. This is the time that Corrie went missing.
Some items have been clearly identifiable as coming from Bury St Edmunds and this has confirmed that we have been searching in the right place, however none of these items have had any link to Corrie.
She added: Having been through all of the possibilities in detail, there is nothing to support any theory other than that Corrie was in the bin.
There are no further sightings of him on CCTV to suggest he left the area, and we have explored the other possibilities as to how he left – such as being taken from the area by someone – and there is no evidence to support that this is the case.
Police discovered the weight of the bin pick-up in Bury St Edmunds on the night Mr McKeague disappeared was much higher than originally thought – at more than 100kg (15st 10lb) compared to the 11kg (1st 10lb) they were first told.
Officers working on the search had to be given hydration tablets to combat the risk of heat exhaustion amid summer temperatures.
Expertise gathered during the search of the site has been passed onto other police forces, Det. Supt. Elliott said.
She added: We have been absolutely committed to finding Corrie and none of us wanted to be in this position, where we are unable to provide the answer.
The investigation has cost more than £1.2m to date, with the vast majority of the money spent on rifling through the landfill.
Suffolk Police said they remain open minded and will vigorously pursue further lines of enquiry should they appear.
Mr McKeague’s girlfriend April Oliver announced last month the vanished serviceman had become a father with the birth of their daughter.
He is stationed at RAF Honington in Suffolk.
(c) Sky News 2017: ‘No trace’ of missing Corrie McKeague as police end landfill search