Final remains of missing Esther Dingley found by her boyfriend in mountains

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

The LBT Global charity said Esther Dingley’s body and equipment were found together by Daniel Colegate on Monday afternoon.

It said the “most likely hypothesis” at this stage is that Oxford graduate Esther, 37, died in an accident, though a police investigation continues.

Earlier, police had said they are not ruling out any possibility, including foul play.

Forensic specialists and a mountain rescue team were sent to the mountain range to “catalogue the scene” and recover Esther’s remains.

Esther Dingley’s partner Dan Colegate found the rest of her body during a search on Monday
LBT Global said Daniel had carried out “relentless search efforts” since Esther vanished during a solo walk in the mountains near the Spanish and French border.

Esther and Daniel met at Oxford University and lived in Durham before they set off travelling around Europe in a camper van six years ago.

She was last seen on November 22 last year, the same day she spoke to Daniel in a WhatsApp video call from atop the Pic de Sauvegarde while he was house-sitting at a farmhouse in France.

Her skull was found in July as foot patrols and drones were used during a search close to Port de la Glere.

The LBT Global charity said: “Yesterday, on the afternoon of 9 August, Esther Dingley’s body and equipment were found together in the Pyrenees, close to where a bone was discovered two weeks ago.

“The discovery was made by Esther’s partner Daniel Colegate, following relentless search efforts by him since her disappearance.

“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 underway 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.”

Forensic experts confirmed the skull found last month was Esther’s using DNA provided by her mother and dental records.

It was thought a wild animal or animals may have picked up the skull and carried it to the spot where it was discovered by Spanish hikers.

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