French police likely to pause search for missing Durham alumnus hiker

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French police are likely to temporarily call off the search for former Durham student, Esther Dingley who went missing whilst hiking solo in the Pyrenes on 22nd November 2020.

Ms Dingley, 37, was last seen via Whatsapp video call shortly after 4pm on 22nd at the peak of Pic de Savegarde in Spanish territory. She had started her solo trek in Benasque, Spain the previous day and had intended to spend Sunday night at Refuge de Venasque, an unstaffed shelter in France.

French police captain Jean Marc Bordinaro told The Times “all possible investigations in French territory have been carried out without result”. He stressed that his force had done all that they could and that there is no current evidence to confirm Ms. Dingley’s presence in France.

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

Spanish mountain rescue experts have also recently revealed that they are unlikely to resume searches for Ms. Dingley, warning that depending on weather conditions, it could be July before their search continues.

Ms. Dingley’s partner, Dan Colgate expressed his belief that Ms Dingley was likely taken “against her will” in a recent statement on social media. He has denied suggestions that Esther may have disappeared voluntarily and that they had been experiencing problems in their relationship.

The couple were set to celebrate their nineteen-year anniversary this month. They had lived in Durham together until 2014 when following health scares they set out to travel around Europe, documenting their ‘van-life’ experiences on their popular blog, Esther and Dan.

Image: Daily Mirror

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