Esther Dingley: Body of missing British hiker found in Pyrenees

Body and equipment found by boyfriend close to where bone was discovered two weeks ago

Chiara Giordano
Tuesday 10 August 2021 20:09
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<p>The body and belongings of British hiker Esther Dingley who went missing in the Pyrenees have been found by her boyfriend</p>

The body and belongings of British hiker Esther Dingley who went missing in the Pyrenees have been found by her boyfriend

The body of British hiker Esther Dingley who went missing in the Pyrenees has been found by her boyfriend close to where a bone was discovered two weeks ago.

Ms Dingley, 37, had been walking solo in the mountains near the Spanish and French border and was last seen on 22 November.

The LBT Global charity said her body and equipment were found together by Daniel Colegate on Monday afternoon.

A statement added: “A team of forensic specialists along with mountain rescue personnel were dispatched to the site in order to catalogue the scene and recover Esther.

“At this stage an accident is the most likely hypothesis, given the location and other early indications. A full investigation is under way to confirm the details surrounding this tragedy.

“The family remain incredibly grateful for the efforts of the police units involved and their commitment to understanding the exact circumstances of Esther’s death.

“LBT Global are supporting Daniel and Esther’s mother, Ria, as they come to terms with this news.”

It comes after a single bone was found nearby last month, which DNA testing later confirmed was Ms Dingley’s.

The body and belongings of British hiker Esther Dingley have been found after she went missing in the Pyrenees in November 2020

Mr Colegate and Ms Dingley met at Oxford University and lived in Durham before they set off travelling around Europe in a camper van six years ago.

The couple decided to leave behind their lives in Durham after Mr Colegate nearly died from an infection.

Ms Dingley, who was an experienced hiker, was last heard from on Sunday 22 November when she sent Mr Colegate a picture of her on top of Pic de Sauvegarde on the France-Spain border.

She was travelling in the couple’s campervan and Mr Colegate was house-sitting in the Gascony area of France on a farm while the couple spent a month apart.

British hiker Esther Dingley went missing in the Pyrenees in November 2020

Mr Colegate said their last conversation was about “how excited we were to see each other as this was her last trip before driving back”.

He added that Ms Dingley had walked from Benasque in Spain on the Saturday and had planned to spend Sunday night at Refuge de Venasque in France.

She had been due to return from her solo trek on 25 November.

Mr Colegate spent the months after his partner’s disappearance searching for her across hundreds of miles in the mountains surrounding her last known location and route.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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