Missing student’s family seek search warrant for RAF site

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THE family of a student who went missing two years ago are asking police to obtain a search warrant for a disused RAF bunker after being told they will have to pay £1,000 to the landowner to have it searched again by firefighters.

Russell Bohling was 18 when he was last seen leaving home in West Ella, near Hull, on March 2, 2010.

His blue Renault Clio was found abandoned in the car park of RSPB Bempton nature reserve, close to the former RAF site, and the underground bunker was searched as part of a large-scale air, sea and land probe in the immediate aftermath of his disappearance.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service are now planning to revisit the site as part of a training exercise and will seek to establish beyond doubt whether Russell’s body is there.

The student had uploaded information onto his computer about RAF Bempton two weeks before he went missing.

His father Roger believes the original search team could have missed a body as they had been directed to look for someone alive and would have used heat-seeking equipment.

Flooded areas of the bunker are also to be pumped out for the first time.

Mr Bohling, who said he was writing to the chief constable of Humberside Police to ask him to secure the warrant, said: “I have been told the landowner wants £1,000 for compensation for lifting the bunker.

“We thought hang on a minute – the police should have made sure the bunker was searched the first time. Why don’t they get a search warrant?

“We are facing a £1,000 bill to tidy up a problem that is down to the police in the first place.”

He added: “It’s going to be difficult for us whether his body is there or not. Because the search wasn’t done right away he could have been there but has since been moved.

“At least it’s a step in the right direction for someone to tell us whether he’s there now.”

A spokeswoman for the brigade said: “We plan to carry out a search and rescue training exercise at RAF Bempton.

“Firefighters are required to develop and maintain their competencies and we use many different environments to carry out exercises. This search will give crews valuable training on how to search in confined space using rope rescue techniques in a realistic environment.

“Mr Bohling is aware of the planned training exercise at RAF Bempton and he told us that this will help to offer the family some closure.”