French search for British hiker may be postponed until spring | UK news


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

Esther Dingley, 37, had been walking alone in the mountains near the border between Spain and France and was last seen on 22 November.

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

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

Dingley’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 voluntarily disappeared.

Writing on Facebook, Colegate denied the suggestion Dingley would spark a major search operation by vanishing, rather than simply telling him she needed time alone. He said: “All of which leads me to believe that 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.”

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.



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