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British hiker Esther Dingley ‘fell 100ft to her death after losing her footing on rocky ledge’

British hiker Esther Dingley fell virtually 100ft to her death after losing her footing on a rocky ledge shut to the height of a mountain within the Pyrenees, in accordance to French investigators.

They consider she plunged down a steep rock-strewn slope close to to the two,300ft summit of the Pic de la Glere which straddles the French-Spanish border.

Items from her rucksack, together with her telephone have been discovered scattered on a rocky ledge unfold shut to stays of her physique that have been found earlier this week by her boyfriend Dan Colegate.

Esther went lacking on November 22 whereas solo climbing within the Pyrenees. She was reported lacking by Colegate on November 24, only a day earlier than her journey was due to finish, sparking a large manhunt.

The search was suspended in December due to deteriorating climate however resumed within the Spring and human stays, later confirmed to be a chunk of Esther’s cranium, have been discovered final month. 

In an unique interview with MailOnline the Public prosecutor answerable for the investigation Christophe Amunzateguy admitted the occasions main to the Dingley’s death may by no means be recognized. 

He mentioned: ‘The exact and precise circumstances of the death we will never know, a person who falls, and the condition of the body, make the investigation very complicated.’ 

British hiker Esther Dingley fell almost 100ft to her death after losing her footing on a rocky ledge close to the peak of a mountain in the Pyrenees, according to French investigators 

Public prosecutor Christophe Amunzateguy, who is in charge of the investigation, said it was likely the circumstances around Esther Dingley’s death would never be known but that forensic evidence pointed to an accidental death 

The prosecutor said all the evidence so far gathered by his forensic teams points to  an accidental death.

He is waiting for the results of an autopsy before making public his findings.

‘The accidental theory is now more than strong because the body was found directly below a kind of rocky peak,’ he mentioned.

‘We believed that Esther would have fallen because along this wall, we found items that belonged to her and they ended up at the bottom.

‘We estimate the fall at about twenty or even thirty meters.’

Pathologists within the French metropolis of Toulouse have carried out an post-mortem on the stays that have been situated about 437 yards (400m) from the highest of the Pic de la Glere, a preferred spot for hikers who stroll alongside the French-Spanish border.

This is a map displaying Esther’s route from when she parked her campervan in Benasque, Spain, on November 16 to August 9 when her stays have been discovered 437 yards (400m) from Pic de la Glere  

Esther’s physique was discovered 437 yards (400m) under Pic de la Glere by her boyfriend Mr Copeland on August 9 – roughly 109 yards (100m) from the place a part of her cranium was discovered 18 days earlier

Last month fragments of bone from Dingley’s have been discovered a brief distance away additional down the mountain at an space generally known as Porte de Glere.

Investigators consider a bear or wolf had dragged the cranium to its resting place.

A DNA pattern offered by her household was ready to match the fragment discovered to that of the hiker.

Mr Amunzateguy, the general public prosecutor for Saint-Gaudens – mentioned the stays have been badly decomposed and regardless of the efforts of pathologists it may not be attainable to decide an actual explanation for death.

He mentioned: ‘This post-mortem is to verify, with the stays of the physique that we may discover, if there was a fall and what could possibly be the precise causes of death.

‘The body is badly decomposed, and the snow has aggravated the decomposition of the body.’

The prosecutor revealed items that had been found close to her body included her mobile phone. 

He said the phone had been examined and had yet not given up any clues to the final moments of the experienced hiker.

‘We’ll see what we can do with it, but we already know what the last calls were,’ he mentioned.

‘We will continue the investigations, but I repeat, we are still focusing on an accident.’

Forensic groups haven’t but situated her ultra-lightweight yellow tent.  

The prosecutor mentioned Mr Colegate had spent weeks looking the world as soon as the snow melted across the excessive peaks.

‘Dan Colegate had undertaken to search for himself, and he told us where the body was on Monday afternoon,’ said the prosecutor.

‘He contacted the gendarmerie as he had direct numbers because he collaborated in the investigation.’

Last month, human remains later confirmed to be Esther’s were found by Spanish hikers at Port de la Glere, a mountain pass on France ‘s border with Spain , just south of Bagneres-de-Luchon. The trail is known as Puerto de la Glera in Spanish

The hotel, near the Spanish town of Besanque in The Pyrenees from where Esther set off on her hiking expedition last November before she disappeared

The camper van used by Esther Dingley and her boyfriend on the European tour remains in a compond belonging to the Spanish Civil Guard, in Besanquein, The Pyrenees

 The 37-year-old Oxford graduate had numerous pieces of kit with her at the time of her disappearance, including a bright red and grey rucksack and a distinctive yellow tent

Oxford graduate Esther Dingley parked the couple’s campervan in a car park in Benasque, Spain, on November 21 and started the solo hike from the Spanish town of Benasque to Pic de Sauvegarde, a mountaintop in the Pyrenees, before she disappeared 

A police source in Bagneres de Lucon, where the search teams were based, said 38-year-old Mr Colegate had never been considered a suspect.

Police chief Jean Marc Bordinaro said Mr Colegate had been best placed to look for his girlfriend as he was familiar with her hiking abilities and had ‘paced up and down the area’ in his personal search.

French search groups had used drones and a helicopter of their search which started after November 22 when Ms Dingley was reported lacking by her boyfriend.

Heavy snowfall within the space had hidden the physique for months and was not thought to be seen from the air.

Mr Colegate had concentrated his search shut to the place the fragments have been discovered by different hikers in July.

The prosecutor mentioned he needed to ship up a helicopter to instantly to help within the search however was unable to accomplish that because it was already concerned in one other mountain rescue.

Describing the occasions after the physique was situated, he mentioned: ‘The search part moved on Tuesday morning with a helicopter as a result of the world is troublesome to entry.

‘We needed to go there on Monday night, however all our helicopters have been already engaged for rescue. 

‘When the investigators arrived on the scene, they found the physique in a reasonably superior state of decomposition.

‘The physique could be very broken, however we discovered her personal results, the backpack, the sneakers, water container and the telephone that was on her.’ 

The Oxford graduate had set out to hike alone from the Porte de la Glere to the Port de Venasque, a trek which follows the border between France and Spain.

She parked the couple’s campervan in a carpark in Benasque, Spain, on November 21 and began the solo hike from the Spanish city of Benasque to Pic de Sauvegarde, a mountaintop within the Pyrenees.

Her final contact with anybody was when she despatched Mr Colegate a selfie from the Pic de Sauvegarde mountain on November 22.

She was seen by a number of witnesses together with an Olympic Spanish skier asking for some fruit climbing on the trail main up to the summit.

From there she deliberate to stroll between Port de la Gléré and Port de Venasque – a route of some eight miles – earlier than climbing again down from the mountains.

She turned her telephone off after that to save the battery and was planning to spend that night time on the Refuge de Venasque in France, which is unmanned.

In her final recognized message, despatched to Colegate on November 22, Esther wrote: ‘Might dip into France. Hoping Refuge Venasque has a winter room. Keep you posted when can. Love you xxx’

No one is aware of if she stayed there and nobody has reported seeing Esther alive after that.

The move the place Esther Dingley went lacking was a part of an space described as an ‘straightforward’ stroll for the British hiker by her boyfriend 

The 37-year-old from Durham was on a month-long solo journey and was supposed to return on November 24

Mr Colegate, who was staying at a farm in Gascony, France, raised the alarm on November 25, three days after he acquired her Whatsapp.

Police from Spain and France took half within the search in an space masking virtually 700 miles.

Soldiers from the High Mountain Gendarmerie Platoon from Luchon in addition to native hikers and mountain guides took half within the search.

But with space blanketed by snow the search was referred to as off till Spring and hotter climate had melted the snow alongside the twisting trails.

Colegate has expressed disbelief on the idea that Esther might have died after changing into injured throughout her solo hike as she was an skilled hiker who ought to have had no downside with the route she is believed to have taken.

He wrote a 23-page report about Esther’s plans to do a round hike between Spain and France which concerned sleeping at a mountain refuge.

He mentioned in his file: ‘An person that Esther met on November 19 got here ahead to say he had particularly urged this route by means of France, between Port de Venasque and Port de la Glere, to Esther when he met her. There isn’t any cause to assume that Esther didn’t stick to this plan.’

Esther went lacking on November 22 whereas out climbing within the Pyrenees, and final month, human stays have been discovered by Spanish hikers at Port de la Glere, a mountain move on France ‘s border with Spain

Dingley’s boyfriend Dan Colegate (left) has expressed disbelief on the idea that Esther might have died after changing into injured throughout her solo hike as she was an skilled hiker who ought to have had no downside with the route she is believed to have taken

Dingley (pictured with boyfriend Colegate) was seen by a number of witnesses together with an Olympic Spanish skier asking for some fruit climbing on the trail main up to the summit 

In a piece titled ‘Esther’s Planned Onward Route’, he urged she reached the mountain refuge in France and slept there in a single day earlier than persevering with a hike to return to her preliminary start line in Spain.

He mentioned: ‘Her onward route would have concerned a descent northwards in direction of the Hospice de France, a flat traverse westwards across the Imperatrice Way, and a climb southwards to the border at Port de la Glere. From the border the route descends again in direction of Hospital de Benasque.

‘This route would have been effectively inside Esther’s capabilities for a day hike, as well as to the very fact she had a tent, tenting gear and vital expertise utilizing it.

‘Distance was 16km with 1202 yards (1100m) of ascent, 5 to seven hours of climbing time. The climate remained wonderful that Monday. The route could be very apparent on the bottom and in addition from the terrain when ranging from Refuge de Venasque.

‘It’s mainly unimaginable to get lost in good visibility right here. The total route is a well-made and simple to observe path. Although Esther believed and had warned household that there was poor sign within the space, in actual fact the sign is excellent on the French facet.

‘Within half an hour of leaving the refuge, Esther ought to have been ready to use her telephone for many of the remainder of the day.’

The couple, each Oxford graduates, had been travelling round Europe in a camper van for years after quitting their careers and Durham residence.