RAF serviceman Corrie Mckeague - who has been missing for more than three months - is due to become a father, his girlfriend has said.
Speaking to BBC Look East today (January 9), personal trainer April Oliver, 21, from West Norfolk, told how she had become pregnant after a relationship with the 23-year-old, who is from Fife, in Scotland, and stationed with the RAF regiment at RAF Honington in Suffolk.
In an interview with BBC Look East, Miss Oliver said she discovered she was pregnant in October - just weeks after Mr Mckeague’s disappearance after a night out in Bury St Edmunds.
She saw him shortly before his disappearance and was on holiday in America when Mr Mckeague went missing but returned to the UK as soon as she heard the news.
Miss Oliver said: “I’ve had to make a make a massive decision by myself. I was hoping and praying that he’d come back so we could make it together.
“I have the support of my family and friends around me which is great but it’s still not the most pleasant thing to go through on your own especially when the person you love is missing.
“I’ve given it a great deal of thought. Obviously there is the element of ‘what if he didn’t come back?’ what would I do and that was something I had to take a sensible approach to.
“When I found out, although it was a horrible time and something I wished I could experience with him, it was also something I was excited about.
“Given the stress that I’ve been under, the pregnancy has gone really well. I’m just doing anything I can not to add to the pressure I’m already under.”
Asked about the moment she discovered he was missing, she said: “I had only been there a few days when I got the call from the RAF boys asking if I’d seen him or heard from him, that’s when I knew that he was missing. I very quickly got a plane home.
“At that point I wasn’t entirely sure what had happened to him. It was completely out of character.
“I found out I was pregnant a couple of weeks after I came back.”
She is expecting their baby to be born in late spring/early summer.
The pair had been together for about five months after meeting on a dating site. Miss Oliver had met his family.
Mr Mckeague did not know about the pregnancy.
She said she had decided to speak about her pregnancy so that she could focus on looking after herself and her baby without any intrusion.
“Most people only tell their close friends but I’m faced with a decision where I need to tell near enough the whole UK.
“It’s hard and it’s going to add another level of stress I don’t really need but it’s something that has to be done.”
Mr Mckeague’s mother, Nicola Urquhart, said she had to balance the joy of becoming a grandmother for the first time with the continued uncertainty about her son’s whereabouts.
Mrs Urquhart added: “It’s something that somebody would normally want to keep quiet to make sure everything’s ok but it’s getting to the stage now where there are far too many people starting to notice and ask questions.
“That’s why we felt now is the time that we do have to let people know so that we can draw a line under it so April can enjoy her pregnancy safely without any additional stress.
“I was at the scan with April and I don’t think anybody could see that and not be affected by it.
“But it’s incredibly difficult to bounce my head from the excitement of a new baby to what we’re actually trying to focus on which is finding Corrie.”
In a Facebook post expressing her support for Miss Oliver after the news came out, Mrs Urquhart said: “On a personal note, this is my first grandchild, never in my worst nightmares did I ever consider this is how it would happen, It should be the happiest time in all our lives,
“It is incredibly hard to keep emotions in check but I have to. Corrie is missing. we need him back, I need to know [I] have done absolutely every single thing in my power and ability to find Corrie, not just for my own sanity and that of my boys, but also for this innocent child.”
Mr Mckeague went missing in the early hours of September 24 after a night out with friends.
Anyone with information on Corrie should call the Suffolk Police incident room on 01473 782019 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.