ENTERTAINMENT

Esther didn't go away on purpose to lead a nomadic life, says a friend


The missing British hiker's friend Esther Dingley has denied claims by French police that she may have disappeared on purpose, fearing that her nomadic lifestyle would soon end.

A Daniel Colegate spokesman said "there is no evidence that Esther is seeking a new life" when new CCTV footage from his girlfriend appeared in a supermarket before she disappeared.

Ms. Dingley, 37, was last seen on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees three weeks ago after going on a solo hike.

Despite a joint operation by the French and Spanish police, there is no evidence of their whereabouts and heavy snowfall has led the search for Bergen to be abandoned.

Missing British hiker's friend Esther Dingley (pictured) has denied claims by French police that she may have disappeared on purpose, fearing that her nomadic lifestyle would soon end

A spokesman for Daniel Colegate (pictured with Esther) said: "There is no evidence that Esther is looking for a new life."

A spokesman for Daniel Colegate (pictured with Esther) said: "There is no evidence that Esther is looking for a new life."

This weekend, gendarmerie captain Jean-Marc Bordinaro, who heads the French side of the investigation, said one theory was that the veteran hiker disappeared on purpose.

He claimed Mr Colegate wanted to return to the UK in a European motorhome after six years of traveling.

Cpt Bordinaro said: “Esther Dingley wanted to continue her current way of life, travel in a motorhome and sports activities like hiking, while Daniel Colegate seems a little fed up with his nomadic life.

“Did she want to go out alone to live her life and organize her own disappearance? There is nothing that allows us to get rid of this working theory. This situation has created some tension within the couple, but nothing too much. & # 39;

However, the theory was rejected by Mr. Colegate, 38, and Ms. Dingley's family, who spoke about the Lucie Blackman Trust Global, a charity that helps families of missing people abroad.

Grainy CCTV footage (pictured) - Ms. Dingley's latest recorded movements - shows her apparently checking the price of the seeds with the store manager

Grainy CCTV footage (pictured) – Ms. Dingley's latest recorded movements – shows her apparently checking the price of the seeds with the store manager

Jose Antonio Ballarin said Esther discussed her route with him – and it was different from the route she supposedly planned

Matthew Searle, Managing Director of LBT Global said: & # 39; We work closely with the family and Daniel and there is no evidence that Esther was looking for a new life. There is much speculation about this case and it is not helpful and unfair to the family. & # 39;

Mr Colegate has been interviewed three times by the French and Spanish police but is not considered a suspect. Mrs. Dingley left Mr. Colegate in the French city of Gascony where he was at home. On November 15, she drove the couple's motorhome across the border to the Spanish city of Benasque, where she got off the vehicle to climb the mountain range.

The police investigation is now focused on Benasque and the RV has been forensically searched.

Ms. Dingley, an Oxford graduate like her boyfriend, was staying at Angel Orus Hostel on November 17th, where the owner recalled seeing her in "good spirits".

Two days later, she was seen buying chia seeds in a supermarket. Grainy CCTV footage – Ms. Dingley's final recorded movements – shows her apparently checking the price of the seeds with the store manager.

This weekend, gendarmerie captain Jean-Marc Bordinaro, who heads the French side of the investigation, said one theory was that the veteran hiker disappeared on purpose. However, the theory was rejected by Mr. Colegate, 38 (pictured with Esther) and Mrs. Dingley's family

This weekend, gendarmerie captain Jean-Marc Bordinaro, who heads the French side of the investigation, said one theory was that the veteran hiker disappeared on purpose. However, the theory was rejected by Mr. Colegate, 38 (pictured with Esther) and Mrs. Dingley's family

A British teacher then stepped in as a translator and stated that discounts were only available to those with loyalty cards. Mrs. Dingley bought the seeds and one buyer later described them as "sad and pensive".

The last contact Ms. Dingley had with her partner was on November 22nd when she posted photos of herself on the Pic de Sauvegarde, 9,000 feet above sea level. She should return to Gascony by November 25th.

When she did not appear, Mr. Colegate warned.

Air and land searches have found no trace of Ms. Dingley, and her family fear she may have been abducted. Due to the weather, rescue efforts may not resume until the spring.

Cpt Bordinaro said he does not believe Ms. Dingley was in an accident, was eaten by a bear, or fell into a lake.

Ms. Dingley and Mr. Colegate began their European tour in 2014 after he nearly died of a carnivorous bacterial infection.

Although the couple blogged regularly about their adventures, Cpt Bordinaro said their lives were not "as idyllic as the images posted on social media suggest".

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