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Esther Dingley: Search for missing British hiker in Pyrenees may not resume until spring, say police

Written by on 22 February 2021

French police say they will “probably” have to wait until spring to continue the search for a British hiker who went missing last year in the Pyrenees.

Esther Dingley had been walking solo in the mountains near the Spanish and French border and was last seen on 22 November.

French police captain Jean Marc Bordinaro told The Times “all possible investigations” in French territory have been carried out “without any result”.

Ms Dingley had been travelling since 2014. Pic: LBT Global Image: Ms Dingley had been travelling since 2014. Pic: LBT Global

“We have no indication permitting us to confirm the presence of Esther Dingley in France since she was seen for the last time on the Spanish side of the Pic de Sauvegarde,” he said.

“We’ll probably have to wait till spring to undertake more searches.”

The 37-year-old’s partner Daniel Colegate, who had been hiking with her but was house-sitting at a French farmhouse on 22 November, said earlier this month he did not believe she fell or had some other kind of accident.

He also dismissed suggestions she could have disappeared on purpose.

Writing on Facebook, Mr Colegate suggested “somebody else has been involved in Esther’s disappearance and against her will”.

“This is a terrifying prospect and I wish I could believe otherwise, but I cannot,” he added.

The couple, who have been together for almost 19 years, met at Oxford University and lived in Durham before they set off travelling around Europe in a camper van six years ago.