MILITARY-STYLE software systems are being used to meticulously plot every aspect of missing Scots RAF man Corrie McKeague’s final six hours before he disappeared.
Scots ex-serviceman turned entrepreneur Forbes McKenzie, who runs McKenzie Intelligence Services (MIS), has been employed by the missing man’s mother, Nicola Urqhart, to help find the 23-year-old. Mr McKeague, from Dunfermline, Fife, disappeared last September after a night out in Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk.
Mr McKenzie has responded to attacks on his business’s credibility that emerged over the weekend, along with criticisms of his involvement with the family.
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Concerns raised by members of the public, an investigating watchdog and Mr McKeague’s father had been previously reported in relation to MIS’s involvement in the investigation. It was incorrectly estimated the firm had been given £50,000 to carry out its work, which had been raised online.
The firm, staffed by former military personnel, provides specialist maps overlaid with information from social media using state-of-the-art software and satellite images. Mr McKenzie stressed his company “is not a private investigation firm” and added he was paid “nowhere near £50,000”.
The 39-year-old, who is originally from Hawick but now lives in London, said: “What the family has asked us to do is to make maps for every aspect of the case. That includes Corrie’s final footsteps in those last six hours he was seen, including areas searched and not searched, to what level and extent things have been searched.
“In terms of social media, you only need to go near the Find Corrie Facebook site to see the level of interest. There are 110,000 people who have been talking about it. Our job is to sort all of the conversations out on the various social media platforms, going right back to the event, and compile it in such a way that it can be handed across to the police and they can exploit it using their own software.
“It’s a lot of processing. We are not private investigators, and we haven’t been employed to do that.
“The family are police people, the stepfather is a former police investigator. They are competent in doing their own investigation. What they get from me is social media collation and map-making.”
Ms Urquhart, Mr McKeague’s mother, said: “Since the inception of the Facebook page, the web page, Twitter and the phone [lines] we have amassed a vast amount of information in a format I have never seen gathered to this extent in any police investigation.
“I worked with the police in trying to find ways of providing this information to them. However, nothing appeared to work. I was not willing to allow this information not to be collated so went about trying to find someone that would be able to do this for us.
“MIS have been able to do everything I have asked of them and more and they have done this all at a fraction of the cost it should be.”