Police drones search mountains to investigate missing hiker Esther Dingley’s death

·2-min read
Ms Dingley, 37, vanished without a trace since she was last seen on November 22 (ESTHER & DAN via REUTERS)
Ms Dingley, 37, vanished without a trace since she was last seen on November 22 (ESTHER & DAN via REUTERS)

Police drones have been deployed over the Pyrenees mountains to try find out how missing hiker Esther Dingley died.

Patrols have been ongoing following the announcement human remains found belonged to the missing treker, including a skull.

Ms Dingley, 37, vanished without a trace after she was last seen on November 22 when she embarked on a solo hiking trip into the mountains.

Detectives in France have yet to rule out any theory to how the hiker died.

A police source told The Mirror: “The enquiry is ongoing, and being led by a public prosecutor with the assistance of judicial police and gendarmes.

“There are still many questions to be answered, and that is why mountain searches are continuing.

“Foot patrols are in the area, and they are using drones to try and find further evidence connected with the case.”

Her remains were unearthed close to Port de la Glere, on France’s border with Spain.

DNA testing confirmed human remains found in the search were a match.

Ms Dingley’s partner Daniel Colegate and her mother Ria Bryant said in a statement: “We are distraught to report that we have received DNA confirmation that one of the bones found last week belongs to Esther.

“We have all known for many months that the chance we would get to hug our beloved Esther again, to feel her warm hand in ours, to see her beautiful smile and to watch the room light up again whenever she arrived was tiny, but with this confirmation that small hope has now faded.

“It is devastating beyond words.”

LBT Global chief executive Matthew Searle said: “This is the tragic end we have all feared.

“This is devastating news for Esther’s loved ones – never before have I seen such incredible determination as that showed by Daniel in his relentless physical search of the mountains.

“We ask that media leave the family in peace at this incredibly difficult time.”

Mr Colegate and Ms Dingley fell in love at Oxford University before making the move to Durham.

They then set their hearts on travelling around Europe in a campervan six years ago.

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