Partner of missing British hiker says police are exploring "other avenues" beyond an accident

The partner of missing British hiker Esther Dingley has said that there is “no sign of her anywhere” and that police are now exploring other avenues rather than her being in an accident.

Partner of missing British hiker says police are exploring “other avenues”: Dan Colegate, 38, and rescue teams have been out searching for nearly a week trying to re-trace Ms Dingley’s steps in the Pyrenees between the French/Spanish border however he has said that “the prevailing opinion in the search teams is that she isn’t there.” Police have not ruled out suspicious circumstances and the investgation has moved on to how Ms Dingley actually went missing.

The couple were taking a 6-year trip across Europe in a camper van when Ms Dingley went missing while hiking alone between the Porte de la Glere and the Port de Venasque. Last known contact with the 37-year-old was a “selfie” sent from the Pic de Sauvegarde mountain and she has not been seen or heard from since. She was reported as missing three days after the photo was sent.

Mr Colegate posted to social media on Tuesday night saying “It’s very difficult to say this, but another day has ended with no trace at all of Esther.” He went on to say “As things stand tonight, Esther is now listed as a national missing persons case in Spain and the case has been passed to a specialised judicial unit in France. This means they will be looking at other options beyond a mountain accident.

While this is a terrifying development in many ways, I’m trying to focus on the fact that it leaves the door open that Esther might still come home. She was so utterly happy and joyful when we last spoke, I’d do anything to see her face and hold her right now.” Also on Tuesday night French police said that due to heavy snow closing in the search would be scaled down.

They said in a statement “Now there is bad weather coming so we have to stop,” he told the Telegraph. “We had people in the area on Tuesday, and a drone, but now we have to stop because of the snow. We will continue when there are breaks in the weather, but we are moving into a new phase to try and find out why she disappeared.”


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