A search team investigating the disappearance of RAF gunner Corrie McKeague has trawled through 60 tonnes of waste at a landfill site.
It could take the team of eight trained search officers up to 10 weeks to sift through rubbish up to eight metres deep, covering around 920 square metres of the dump in Milton, near Cambridge.
A bin lorry found in the area where airman Corrie Mckeague was last seen weighed more than first thought, police have said.
His mother, Nicola Urquhart, says it's dashed her hopes of finding her son alive.
Suffolk Police said the search of the landfill site is the "next logical step" after the vehicle's waste load was found to be far heavier than first thought.
While police originally believed that the lorry was carrying only 11kg, new details reveal it was more than 100kg.
Detective Superintendent Katie Elliott said in a statement:
"The investigation has identified that the company who provided the data usually charge per collection, not per weight of load collected, and it appears that it was genuinely believed by the company that the data provided was correct. There was no intention to mislead the investigation."
Previous forensic examinations found no traces of the missing RAF serviceman in the lorry, and the weight of the load was considered too light to include a body.
Specialist teams have started to search the landfill site at Milton in Cambridge. Experts say it could take up to 10 weeks for to search a 920 square metre section of the area.
A man arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice by misleading officers about the weight has been released without charge earlier today.
Corrie’s mother Nicola Urquhart posted online: “This can really devastatingly only mean one thing. (...) I can only pray that Corrie is found quickly and that we are able to get answers as to how this could have happened.”
The RAF serviceman has been missing since September 24 last year, when he vanished after a night out with friends in Bury St Edmunds.
Any information relating to Corrie’s disappearance should be passed to the incident room on 01473 782019. Alternatively you can call 101 and ask to speak to the team.