Bones found in Pyrenees near where British hiker went missing

Esther Dingley has been missing since November 2020 after going for a solo hike in the mountains along the French-Spanish border

27 July 2021
The Pyrenees mountains. Bones found in Pyrenees linked to missing British hiker

The gendarmerie are now handling the case after remains were found on the French side of the mountains Pic: PHILIPIMAGE / Shutterstock

By Joanna York

Bones found in the Pyrenees are being investigated to see if they are the remains of missing British hiker Esther Dingley.

Ms Dingley, 37, was reported missing in November 2020 after failing to return from a four-day solo hike in the mountains.

The remains were discovered on July 22 by a Spanish hiker near Bagnères-de-Luchon on the French-Spanish border. 

The hiker alerted the Spanish civil guard after finding a skull. The Spanish authorities passed the case to the French gendarmerie after finding more remains on the French side of the border.

The bones were found near the summit from which Ms Dingley sent a final selfie to her partner, but had not been there during searches of the area a few weeks ago.

Jean-Marc Bordinaro, from the Saint-Gaudens gendarmerie said: “All signs point to the bones being moved there recently by animals.” 

In order to identify the remains, French police have requested Ms Dingley’s dental records and her mother will provide a DNA sample.

Sources close to the Spanish enquiry have said hair on the skull corresponds to the colour and length of Ms Dingley’s hair when she disappeared. 

Ms Dingley’s mother, Ria Bryant, told The Guardian: “Nothing of her belongings has been found. It is upsetting that it is not clear and definitive.”

Ms Dingley has been described as an experienced hiker and traveller. Directly before her disappearance she had spent six months living and travelling in a van with her British partner, Dan Colegate.

The last sign of life from Ms Dingley was a mountain-top selfie sent to her partner on November 22. 

After receiving no further news, Mr Colegate reported Ms Dingley missing on November 25, the day she was supposed to return from her hike.

Search efforts to find Ms Dingley by French and Spanish teams yielded no results.

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