French and Spanish police chasing missing British hiker Esther Dingley are said to be holding a summit over her mysterious disappearance after finding no trace of her.
37-year-old Esther disappeared more than three weeks ago on a solo hike in the Pyrenees that stretches across France and Spain and was last heard on November 22nd.
Police chasing missing British hiker Esther Dingley are said to be holding a summit on her disappearanceCredit: See caption
The 37-year-old was last heard on November 22 when she sent a selfie to boyfriend Dan ColegateCredit: See caption
She sent her friend Dan Colegate a picture of herself on the 2738 m high Pico Salvaguardia and was supposed to return to their common farmhouse in Gascony in southwest France three days later, but did not come and left him and the police at a loss.
French police captain Jean Marc Bordinaro confirmed to The Sun that he would hold a crunch meeting with Spanish colleagues in a secret location later this week after bad weather stopped the search.
Investigators are investigating the possibility that she had an accident or was a victim of a crime.
Captain Bordinaro has admitted that the possibility that a travel blogger may have had a mountain accident is “strong”.
While the Spanish Civil Guard police have only publicly admitted that “all options are open”, they have said privately that they consider the hypothesis of a mountain accident to be “most likely”.
Mr. Bordinaro confirmed: “French officials investigating Esther’s disappearance will meet with detectives from Huesca, Spain later this week.
“The meeting will be face to face and will take place in Spain, but the day has yet to be completed.
“We exchange information regularly, but this is a good opportunity to determine exactly what has been done so far and decide where to go from here.
“Because of the interruption of the mountain search, we are currently concentrating on two lines of investigation, namely that she disappeared voluntarily or that someone else was involved in her disappearance.”
Experienced mountain guide Patrice Lagleize, who has worked in mountain rescue for 30 years, told The Sun: “I am convinced that she either had an accident or fell ill on the summit.
“ The weather that day was very warm, it was 20 ° C in the morning and people hiked in shorts, but by the end of the day it had fallen to just below freezing on the French side – a sudden drop in temperature like this could be easy got them.
What is strange, however, is that although this is the most likely result, no trace of her has been found, but with the bad weather it will now be many weeks before more thorough searches can take place.
“Unfortunately, people in these mountains have disappeared before and will eventually show up when their bodies are found after the snow has melted. One thing is certain, however, she is likely not attacked by a bear or fallen into a lake.” ‘
Esther’s devastated friend has blown French police claims that there is “tension” in their relationship and she wanted to continue her nomadic lifestyle despite his desire to settle down.
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The claim sparked speculation that it may have wanted to go away, and Mr Bordinaro has admitted that they have not yet been able to dispose of it.
He said the gendarmerie currently has no plans to re-interview Oxford graduate Colegate to see if he could provide any further clues as to Esther’s whereabouts.
He has already been approached as a witness twice by the French police and once by the Spanish police.
French police captain Jean Marc Bordinaro says there is a high chance Esther had an accidentCredit: See caption
Esther disappeared on a solo hike in the Pyrenees more than three weeks agoCredit: See caption
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