Esther Dingley Wiki – Esther Dingley Biography
The boyfriend of missing British hiker Esther Dingley has called for a thorough investigation into the mysterious figure seen sleeping in her girlfriend’s trailer 10 days after the girl disappeared.
Daniel Colgate was alarmed three days after 37-year-old Esther walked alone in the Pyrenees on 22 November. It has not been seen since then.
On December 2, a dog walker said he saw a light on the British-registered Fiat Chausson camper and, upon closer inspection, he saw a figure lying in the back seat.
Sources close to the case insist that the person pictured in the Chausson van late at night was not Mr. Colgate, with whom he had been traveling for six years.
Spanish police refused to be seen at Spain’s Benasque resort and said it was ‘impossible’ to search for the missing Briton due to the ongoing terrible blizzards.
But Esther’s family and Mr Colgate spokesman Matt Searle told MailOnline: “Daniel and Esther’s family are extremely interested in finding out who is inside the trailer when the lights are on.
“We are investigating the sight of someone inside the van on December 2nd. They are asking the Guardia Civil to also investigate who it is.
A young dog walker named Lucia said he first saw the light in the van when he took his dog Tipo for a walk in Benasque, Spain, on December 2.
However, when he went out for the second time at 10pm, he became more and more anxious when he saw the figure lying behind.
In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, Lucia said she was ‘fobed’ when she called the Spanish police.
The officers refused to see the van and claimed it was a plain clothes forensic officer – working late at night without protective gear and driving an unmarked vehicle.
Earlier today, it turned out that the Guardia Civil had abandoned efforts to find Esther, as heavy snow blocked the mountain roads where it was last seen.
Spanish researchers believe there is a high probability that Esther had an accident in the mountains, while her French colleagues across the border think it is “unlikely”.
They fear that his disappearance is ‘either the result of a voluntary act or the actions of another person’.
Esther was last seen by hikers on the Salvaguardia summit on 22 November.
He sent Mr. Colegate a selfie of himself on top.
The experienced hiker intended to spend the night in a nearby bunker and descend into France from the mountains in the following days, but never came.
Mr. Colgate was alarmed on November 25, but the Guardia Civil canceled their search on December 4 due to bad weather.
Today, her family has received help from charity Mr. Searle, LBT Global, who worked for missing persons abroad and was formerly known as the Lucie Blackman Trust and was killed in 2000 while working as a bar hostess.
Mr. Searle told MailOnline that the charity would use all its resources to search for Esther, and urged the Guardia Civil to do the same.
Spain’s Guardia Civil’s Mountain Rescue brigade in Benasque abandoned its hunt for the 37-year-old Briton before snow storms and sub-zero temperatures on Friday.
Conditions continue to strain the picturesque resort town into which it enters and the surrounding national park.
Sergeant Jorge Lopez, head of the Mountain Rescue brigade, said arctic weather conditions were ‘useless’ for any expedition in the mountains.
He told MailOnline: “There was heavy snow last night, which makes a new search today impossible.
“There’s no use searching in a place with more than half a meter of snow.
Great efforts were made to search for Esther, but with no results.
“If the weather improves, we can do our regular tactical training to serve as a search for the Benasque area.
“But it is very unlikely to happen right now.”
The paths leading to the mountains are now covered with heavy snow.
Animal tracks – arctic hare, wild-goat, lynx and possibly bear – are the only sign of life.
The Guardia Civil say they are ‘considering all options’ for Esther’s disappearance.
But Sergeant Lopez said it was ‘most probable’ that she had suffered an accident in the mountains.
He said: ‘When someone is lost in the mountains, the first hypothesis is always that they are in the mountains.’
French Gendarme Captain Jean-Marc Bordinaro said it is ‘not probable’ that Esther suffered an accident and her disappearance is ‘either the result of a voluntary act or as the result of someone else’s actions’.
He added that Esther and Daniel’s lives ‘were not as happy as the images posted on social media suggest’.
His comments came after officials interviewed Ms Dingley’s partner for a third time about her disappearance.
Four officers from the French Gendarmerie paramilitary force spoke to Colegate at the farmhouse in Gascony that he is house-sitting on Monday afternoon.
Mr Colegate, 38, had stayed at the £1000-a-week holiday let while long-term partner Esther embarked on a solo hike trip in the Pyrenees mountains last month.
Bordinaro maintained that Mr Colegate had been interviewed as a witness, not a suspect, telling MailOnline: ‘We interviewed Daniel Colegate at the farmhouse where he is living in the Gers department on Monday.
‘We want to investigate all possibilities. We do not rule any line of inquiry.
‘But it does not seem probable that Esther suffered an accident, and it is not credible that she was eaten by a bear or that she has fallen into a lake.
‘We believe that her disappearance is either the result of a voluntary act, or as a result of someone else’s actions.
‘We went to see Mr Colegate so that we could go through social media with him – messages, etc.
‘It appears that their lives together were not as happy as the images posted on social media suggest.
‘However I would like to stress that we interviewed Mr Colegate as a witness not as a suspect.’
The Oxford graduate was interviewed by the French Gendarmes and the Spanish Guardia Civil last week about Esther’s disappearance.
CCTV video released earlier this week showed Miss Dingley in a supermarket in the Pyrenees, where a shopper who saw her described her as looking ‘sad and thoughtful’.
The fitness enthusiast challenged staff at the Eroski store in Benasque over the price of a packet of chia seeds as she provisioned for her march over the mountains on Thursday 19th November.
A local English teacher could be seen coming to her rescue as Esther fails to understand the manager’s explanation over discrepancy in the cost of her shopping – as she could not understand Spanish.
In the supermarket, the Chia seeds had been marked at a di
scount which only applied to shoppers in possession of a store loyalty card, Maria-Carmen – the teacher who helped Ms Dingley in the shop – explained.
Maria-Carmen told MailOnline: ‘Esther wanted to buy a packet of Chia seeds which were discounted. But you only get the discount if you have the Eroski loyalty card.
‘The girl at the till tried to explain this to her but she not understand because she did not speak Spanish.
‘So the girl called me and I came to explain this to her.
‘She said that didn’t matter and bought the seeds any way.
‘We didn’t have a long chat because I was on my way to work but she seemed a sad, thoughtful.’
Maria-Carmen explained: ‘I saw her a couple of days later doing yoga in the street by her camper van.
‘It is not a usual sight to see someone doing yoga in the street in Benasque so I noticed it.
‘Later I heard that the English woman, Esther, had gone missing and I contacted the police and told them that I had helped her.
‘I just hope she is ok.’