Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Esther Dingley (37) went missing in the Pyrenees while on a 6 year campervan tour of Europe

  1. #1
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    17,952
    Rep Power
    21474862

    Esther Dingley (37) went missing in the Pyrenees while on a 6 year campervan tour of Europe

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-tyne-55118130


    A British woman who has spent six years on a campervan tour of Europe has gone missing while walking in the Pyrenees.

    Esther Dingley, 37, last spoke to her partner Dan Colegate via Whatsapp last Sunday, when she was atop Pic de Sauvegarde on the France Spain border.

    She had been due to end her solo trek on Wednesday but has not been seen.

    French authorities confirmed they are searching for Ms Dingley, and Mr Colegate said he was "broken" and "shattered" by her disappearance.

    Ms Dingley had been travelling in the couple's camper van while Mr Colegate stayed at a farm in the Gascony area of France.

    On the weekend she set out on the trek, the couple's story about exploits around Europe in the camper van since 2014 was published by BBC News.

    Mr Colegate said she had been away for a month and their last conversation had been about "how excited we were to see each other as this was her last trip before driving back".

    Her last known location was on top of the mountain at about 16:00 GMT on Sunday 22 November.

    Ms Dingley had started walking from Benasque in Spain on Saturday and had a plan to spend Sunday night at Refuge Venasque in France, Mr Colegate said.

    He said searches had yielded "no sign at all" and temperatures are dropping with light snow fall in the area.

    She has previously completed solo treks, and Mr Colegate said: "She always tried to keep in touch but sometimes on her hikes was out of contact for a couple of days.

    "This is not looking good."

    The couple had lived in Durham before deciding to pack up their lives and go travelling after Mr Colegate nearly died from an infection.

    In a post on Facebook, the Peloton de Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne (PGHM), said it was "actively looking" for Ms Dingley.

    Mr Colegate, who has gone to the Luchon area to help look for his partner of 18 years, said helicopters and dogs have been involved in the search but have so far found "no trace".

  2. #2
    Senior Member Angiebla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    11,567
    Rep Power
    21474855
    I wonder if she fell off the mountain?

    "The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man" -Charles Darwin

    Quote Originally Posted by bowieluva View Post
    Chelsea, if you are a ghost and reading mds, I command you to walk into the light.

  3. #3
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    17,952
    Rep Power
    21474862
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ssing-pyrenees

    Esther Dingley, 37, had been travelling with her partner, Dan Colegate, since 2014, with the couple’s travel adventures well-documented in a blog and in the national press. She had embarked on a month-long solo trip when she went missing.

    Dingley, originally from Durham, had taken their van on the lone adventure, which was due to come to an end on Wednesday, while her partner stayed in Gascony, France.

    An urgent search is now under way after Dingley last spoke to Colegate via WhatsApp last Sunday when she was atop Pic de Sauvegarde on the French-Spanish border. According to him, they discussed how excited they were to see each other as she was on her last trip before driving back.

    The previous day, Dingley walked from Benasque, Spain and planned to spend Sunday night at Refuge V?nasque in France. She was last seen at about 4pm last Saturday, with Colegate saying there had been no sign of her since.

    The Peloton de Gendarmerie de Haute Montagne confirmed it was searching for Dingley.

    In a Facebook post on Saturday, Colegate shared the last picture Dingley sent him before she vanished.

    “The only purpose of this post is to ask for prayers, thoughts, candles and whatever you have,” he wrote. “I’ve not been saying anything, but this wonderful person believes in the power of positive thought and right now I’ll take anything if it means that she can be found.

    “I need her back. I can’t face the alternative. I’m heading back up searching now so I can’t reply to comments or messages. Sorry for the haste and inadequacy of these words.”

    The couple, who have been together for 18 years, hit the road in 2014 with their five dogs after Colegate almost died of an infection following surgery.

    They regularly posted about their adventures on their blog, Esther and Dan, and seven days ago they were featured in a BBC article discussing how they swapped their careers and a permanent home for motoring through the mountains, valleys and coastlines of Europe.

    Colegate said he had joined French police teams using helicopters and dogs in the search for Dingley. “She always tried to keep in touch but sometimes on her hikes was out of contact for a couple of days,” he said. “This is not looking good.”
    their blog:http://www.estheranddan.com/

  4. #4
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    17,952
    Rep Power
    21474862
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-tyne-55147438

    Esther Dingley: Pyrenees search enters day nine

    The partner of a British woman missing in the Pyrenees has vowed to keep searching for her until "the sun goes down".

    Esther Dingley, 37, last messaged her partner Dan Colegate via WhatsApp on 22 November, when she was on top of Pic de Sauvegarde on the France-Spain border.

    She had been due to return from her solo walking trek on Wednesday.

    Mr Colegate said there was still no sign of her despite "extensive" searches on both sides of the border.

    French authorities said six search teams had been out looking for her.

    In a message on social media, Mr Colegate said: "I just wanted to write a short thank you for all of the support and messages that have arrived in the past few days.

    "I want to write a more complete update soon, but as of now there is still no sign of Esther anywhere in the area she was intending to explore, despite extensive searching from both sides of the border.

    "I'm going to do some more walking myself now before the sun goes down."

    Ms Dingley had been travelling in the couple's camper van while Mr Colegate stayed at a farm in the Gascony area of France.

    The weekend she set out on the trek, the couple's story about their adventures around Europe in the camper van since 2014 was published by BBC News.

    Ms Dingley had started walking from Benasque in Spain on Saturday and had planned to spend Sunday night at Refuge de Venasque in France, Mr Colegate said.

    Mr Colegate, who has gone to the Luchon area to help look for his partner of 18 years, said she had been away for a month and their last conversation had been about "how excited we were to see each other as this was her last trip before driving back".

    The couple had lived in Durham before deciding to pack up their lives and go travelling after Mr Colegate nearly died from an infection.
    Call me crazy, but I wouldn't even let my husband go off and hike the Pyrenees by himself. I find this odd.
    Last edited by raisedbywolves; 12-01-2020 at 08:29 AM.

  5. #5
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    17,952
    Rep Power
    21474862
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-tyne-55147438

    Partner says police 'looking at non-accident options'

    Mr Colegate said after extensive searches the "prevailing opinion" is she is not in the mountains.

    In a post on Facebook, he praised the French and Spanish search and rescue teams' efforts, but said: "Taking into account Esther's high level of experience, the nature of the terrain, the good weather she would have had, the fact she had a clearly defined route for Sunday evening and Monday, and various other factors, both search coordinators have essentially told me that the prevailing opinion in the search teams is that she isn't there.

    "If she had fallen from one of the paths, they really would have expected to find her given the intensity, the closeness of the search and the fact most of the trails are really quite straightforward across open ground."

    Mr Colegate said Ms Dingley is now listed as a national missing person in Spain and her case has been passed to a "specialised judicial unit in France".

    "This means they will be looking at other options beyond a mountain accident," he said.

    Mr Colegate said: "While this is a terrifying development in many ways, I'm trying to focus on the fact that it leaves the door open that Esther might still come home.

    "She was so utterly happy and joyful when we last spoke, I'd do anything to see her face and hold her right now."

  6. #6
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    17,952
    Rep Power
    21474862
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...iker-lift.html

    Police investigating the disappearance of British blogger Esther Dingley in the Pyrenees are seeking a man who gave the solo hiker a lift, it was revealed last night.

    Spanish and French authorities believe the mystery man could prove crucial in tracking down the 37-year-old from Durham, who went missing over a week ago.

    Esther revealed the existence of the man in a Facebook post on November 19, saying they met by chance at the peak of a mountain, before hiking down together.

    She said she had accepted a lift from the man back to her camper van, which was later found abandoned in the Spanish town of Benasque.

    The meeting happened just three days before Esther was last seen, and police believe the man may hold vital clues about what happened to her.

    She wrote: 'It was the first time I'd seen anyone else for almost two days and as this kind fellow hiker took some photos the weather blew in...

    'I had the option of staying at a great caban, even had a mattress, but it was only 2pm or going down with my fellow hiker and getting a lift.

    'He'd take me further up the valley so I could continue my planned tour to another refuge, or back to the camper.

    "There will be more days in the hills!" I said to the little part of me that didn't want to go back just yet.

    'This was about making it easy on myself. It would be warm and sunny back at the camper and here was someone willing to take me...

    'And then as we drove off this magnificent rainbow �� appeared. Yoga, good food and sunshine and warmth awaited me back at the camper.'

    A police source told The Sun: 'This man would have had conversations with her and may know what she planned,' .

    'They may have arranged to meet and hike another route. It is imperative that we find him.'

    The police probe comes after Esther was listed as a missing persons case across Spain, as search teams began to suspect that she is no longer in the mountains.

    Mr Colegate revealed the new information on a joint Facebook page where the couple have documented six years of their nomadic travels across Europe.

    He penned the post just hours before snowy weather hit the Pyrenees, which rescuers believe will be the start of the winter snow dump, making search efforts much more difficult.

  7. #7
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    17,952
    Rep Power
    21474862
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...es-disappeared

    The mother of the missing hiker Esther Dingley has said she is “distraught” and that it was “utterly out of character” for her daughter to be out of contact for so long.

    Dingley, 37, went missing more than three weeks ago while walking in the Pyrenees on the Spain-France border. No trace of her has been found despite an extensive police investigation.

    In her first public statement, Dingley’s mother, Ria, said her daughter had spoken to her about difficult decisions she faced on her travels “primarily linked to Brexit” but that it did not “dampen her joy” of hiking across Europe.

    She said: “It is utterly out of character for her to be out of contact for this length of time and we are missing her desperately. Esther values family above everything and on all her trips we are always in regular contact, sharing the day-to-day small details of life. We communicated several times every day.”

    Dingley had been hiking around Europe for six years with her partner of 19 years, Dan Colegate, both having left their jobs in Durham to set out on the trip of a lifetime after health complications.

    The couple had been staying in a farmhouse in southern France when Dingley, an Oxford graduate, went hiking alone across the Spanish border at the end of October.

    Ria said she and Colegate were “distraught” and appealed for any potential witnesses to come forward. The family are being supported by the Lucie Blackman Trust, which has set up a hotline and urged anyone with information to get in touch.

    She added: “Esther is an open book. She openly shared some of the difficult decisions that she and Dan would be facing soon, primarily linked to Brexit and the impact that would have on their itinerant lifestyle, but that didn’t dampen her joy for the life they both were living.”

    Colegate dismissed media reports that she was unhappy, which appear to have come from a French police source. He said they had completed a 1,000-mile hike across Europe and always planned to spend two weeks apart.

    “Our last conversation was totally loving and all smiles. She was so happy, and we were excited to see each other,” he added.

  8. #8
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    17,952
    Rep Power
    21474862
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-missing-hiker

    Police in Spain have begun scaling back the search for a British hiker missing in the Pyrenees, almost a month after she disappeared without a trace.

    Sharing an update of their investigation into the puzzling disappearance of Esther Dingley, the Guardia Civil also said that they were no longer using helicopters to scan the vast mountain range for signs of the 37-year-old.

    A spokeswoman for the force told the Observer: “Officers aren’t out searching as intensively as they were at the beginning. They’re not looking everywhere like they did before.”

    The search for Dingley began after she failed to return from a solo trek in the Pyrenees, which straddle the border of Spain and France, last month. She last communicated with her partner of 19 years, Dan Colegate, on 22 November, sending a selfie of herself on the summit of Pic de Sauvegarde.

    Despite intensive searches of her specified route and surrounding territory since, police have found no clues to her possible whereabouts, prompting a flurry of possible theories to explain her disappearance. Among them were reports last week that Dingley disappeared on purpose in search of a new life – claims fiercely denied by Colegate and her family, who say she was happy.

    Other theories encompass the dominant themes of the current news agenda: Covid-19 and Brexit. According to the missing persons charity LBT Global, which is helping with the search, Dingley may have crossed into France from her starting point in Spain and is lying low after worrying about breaching coronavirus travel restrictions. “We want to get the message out that we really don’t care if you have broken Covid rules,” said a spokesperson for the charity.

    Brexit, too, has been mentioned, its own restrictions on freedom of movement likely to have inhibited the couple’s itinerant lifestyle, which had seen them travel around Europe in a campervan since 2014 after both quit their jobs in Durham.

    Speaking about Dingley’s disappearance, Captain Jean-Marc Bordinaro of the French gendarmerie confirmed that the couple had discussed “what would happen because of Brexit”. He said: “Esther Dingley has dual nationality so she was less concerned by Brexit, but Dan Colegate is British so it was a concern.”

    Stressing that the couple’s differences in opinion were normal, Bordinaro also cited a possible divergence in views on future outdoor challenges. During the summer the couple had completed a 1,000-mile hike across Europe. “She is addicted to the mountains, that is her life. Dan Colegate was perhaps hoping for a more tranquil life,” he said.

    The prevailing hypothesis is that there was a tragic mishap. “It seems an accident in the mountains is the most likely theory, but we are not ruling out any leads,” said Bordinaro. Even that possibility has been questioned, with Colegate pointing to his partner’s considerable hiking experience and the fact that the descent from the Pic de Sauvegarde was relatively short, the terrain not especially arduous and the weather good. Yet since Dingley’s disappearance, another complicating factor has emerged – the seasonal Pyrenees snow. If Dingley fell, her body may now be hidden. The Guardia Civil said that their efforts were being compromised by the poor weather.

    “The snow makes things very difficult here – and she disappeared even before the snow fell. It’s very hard to see because of the snow,” a spokeswoman said. Last night, fresh snowfalls were forecast for the Pyrenees.

    “The area’s difficult, the weather’s difficult. It’s not like they’ve gone missing in the middle of a city,” said LBT chief executive Matthew Searle whose charity was formerly known as the Lucie Blackman Trust after the killing in Japan of the 21-year-old. The trust, which supports British nationals in crisis overseas, says that no new leads have materialised in the search for Dingley for some time – no sightings, and no sign that she has tried to access her bank account.

    The trust deals with some 3,000 inquiries a year, with most solved quickly, leaving around 200 in which “something bad happens”. Dingley’s case is unusual, however, for its absolute absence of leads. Both French and Spanish police say they have nothing to go on. An obvious line of inquiry was to examine Dingley and Colegate’s relationship, asking why the couple had decided to embark on separate final trips before returning to the UK. Police found nothing out of the ordinary.

    “From what we know, there was no dispute. They were asking questions about their future and whether they could continue living as they had up to now, but it was the sort of questioning that happens in all normal couples,” said Bordinaro.

    Another possible explanation for Dingley’s disappearance – that she was the victim of a crime – has no evidence to support it.

    Missing persons investigators say it is the absence of leads that rules out a voluntary disappearance. When someone wants to go missing they usually find it impossible not to stay in contact with at least one trusted individual.

    Dingley was, says Searle, close to her mother Ria. “Esther had a fantastic relationship with her mother, they were always in contact,” he said. Last Monday, Ria described her daughter as an “open book” who discussed her travel plans and life decisions.

    Private investigator Paul Hawkes, whose agency has tracked down tens of thousands of people, affirms that disappearing without a trace is very difficult. “Most people can’t stop themselves staying in contact with their loved ones. To really disappear you need to cut yourself off. There are very few people outside the likes of Lord Lucan [the British peer who disappeared in 1974 after being suspected of murder] who have the resources. You have to be monied up,” said Hawkes, whose London agency Research Associates has been tracking people down since 1977.

    People have their own rituals, he says – patterns of behaviour they find hard to shed. “What do they do day after day? There are some things people can’t let go of. Which is why I say that nobody is untraceable,” said Hawkes.

    The fact that Dingley has made no electronic footprint, no attempt at communication with anyone is, he said, rare.

  9. #9
    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Somewhere Over the Rainbow
    Posts
    6,638
    Rep Power
    18307698
    Quote Originally Posted by Angiebla View Post
    I wonder if she fell off the mountain?
    I traversed this area by car at night during a blizzard and it was beyond scary - huge drops, no guardrails - my arse had a firm grip on the seat.

    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    Call me crazy, but I wouldn't even let my husband go off and hike the Pyrenees by himself. I find this odd.
    I don't know what to think about this. I doubt the husband had anything to do with it, if the fellow hiker doesn't come forward I'll start side-eyeing him.
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

  10. #10
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    17,952
    Rep Power
    21474862
    Quote Originally Posted by KimTisha View Post
    I traversed this area by car at night during a blizzard and it was beyond scary - huge drops, no guardrails - my arse had a firm grip on the seat.



    I don't know what to think about this. I doubt the husband had anything to do with it, if the fellow hiker doesn't come forward I'll start side-eyeing him.
    I don't necessarily suspect the husband...I just wonder if there relationship wasn't the perfect picture they paint and she was just trying to get away from him and then something happened.

  11. #11
    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Somewhere Over the Rainbow
    Posts
    6,638
    Rep Power
    18307698
    Quote Originally Posted by raisedbywolves View Post
    I don't necessarily suspect the husband...I just wonder if there relationship wasn't the perfect picture they paint and she was just trying to get away from him and then something happened.
    Oh right. I don't know, though. That wouldn't be something I would do, but a good friend hiked El Camino de Santiago alone. I think I was more worried about her than her husband and they're pretty solid!
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

  12. #12
    Don't drink sanitizer! raisedbywolves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    17,952
    Rep Power
    21474862
    Quote Originally Posted by KimTisha View Post
    Oh right. I don't know, though. That wouldn't be something I would do, but a good friend hiked El Camino de Santiago alone. I think I was more worried about her than her husband and they're pretty solid!
    Maybe I'm co-dependent, lol. I would never think to go off like that for that long without my husband...I would miss him too much. We certainly do our own thing and have different interests, but in the great overall things of life we do them together.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •