Found Deceased Spain - Esther Dingley, from UK, missing in the Pyrenees, November 2020 #5

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by FrostOwl, Nov 29, 2020.

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  1. ZaZara

    ZaZara AstraZaZara

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    I used 'flat' for the lack of a better word. Of course, running up or down a mountain isn't flat nor level, but at least there has to be some space to put your feet down without scrambling all the way.
    In my mind, I was comparing the rocky top of the Salvaguardia with the grassy passage of the Port de la Glère.
     


  2. searancke

    searancke Well-Known Member

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    From the times - quoting her mother
    "“Nothing of her belongings was found,” Bryant, from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, told me over the phone yesterday from Bagnères-de-Luchon, a town in the French Pyrenees. “It’s upsetting that it’s not clear and definitive.”

    At least one additional unidentified bone was discovered near the skull and a further search of the area will be carried out."
     
  3. Hexe

    Hexe Well-Known Member

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    I think we should take into the consideration the possibility that Esther was not in her clear mind before death and so she might have wandered quite far away from her belongings before she died. Hypothermia or head injury can do weird things with the mind.
     
  4. Megnut

    Megnut Well-Known Member

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    Or the majority of her remains and the whole of her equipment are together in a nearby but not very accessible location.... and wildlife took what it could and relocated it, to where it was found.

    Ghastly and sad....

    JMO
     
  5. ZaZara

    ZaZara AstraZaZara

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    The mother of Esther Dingley, the British backpacker and blogger who went missing in the Pyrenees eight months ago, will give a DNA sample to French police this week to help identify a human skull found in the mountains.

    Police also have asked Ria Bryant, 74, for her daughter’s dental records after the discovery last week near a French mountain pass.

    BBM

    The part of the article that I could read.

    Esther Dingley’s mother to take DNA test to see if remains are her daughter’s | News | The Sunday Times

    I'm a bit surprised that no DNA would have been collected yet. If dental records are available, identification can be quick ~ if Esther continued visiting her British dentist that is.
     
  6. Officer Dibble

    Officer Dibble Well-Known Member

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    I'm surprised too. Does this show how the Police and family have been thinking? JMO
     
  7. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    I think it's likely that the photo shows someone who colors her hair. It's possible the real color is very similar to ED's.
     
  8. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    I've often wondered whether Esther wanted to plot a new trail from Pic de Sauvegarde to Pic de la Glere.

    This isn't the only article that suggests this was her planned route:

    "She last had contact with Dan over a week ago when she sent him a selfie atop the 8,983-ft Pic de Sauvegarde at 4pm on November 22.

    She had started walking from Benasque the day before.

    Her plan had been to descend the peak, then walk the eight miles from Port de la Gléré to Port de Venasque, before hiking down from the mountains on Wednesday. (link)
    The idea for taking this hike came from someone she had recently met. Did he say it was possible to hike from Sauvegarde to la Glere? Did she misunderstand? There are no direct trails between the two points.

    Did she mistakenly take the trail to Pic de la Montegnette and then, rather than backtrack (perhaps to insufficient supplies), she tried to navigate to Port de la Glere along the mountain ridges?

    upload_2021-7-24_18-2-6.png

    OpenTopoMap - Topographische Karten aus OpenStreetMap
     
  9. Federico_A

    Federico_A Well-Known Member

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    I agree that vultures may not have got to the body until after the search, and possibly not till spring (assuming the body lay under snow all winter). I haven't yet abandoned my theory that the body was concealed under a layer of smallish rocks (assuming a desperate and hasty job) near Besurta. The wildlife would no doubt root it out, but probably not for a while.

    As a birdwatcher, I'm not sure I agree that the vultures would necessarily have been seen. There are plenty of Griffons around but the circling would all be over quite quickly. As for Lammergeiers, as far as I know they are fairly solitary.

    I must say I find the idea that animals would carry off almost everything to be a bit fanciful. It's all too synthetic and unless it smelt of food, in which case they would tear it apart and leave a tremendous mess (speaking from experience of bears in Canada), I think the animals would stick to what they are familiar with.
     
  10. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    We know for a fact that she did not encounter a bear. That theory was discarded early on as all bears in the region are tagged, and none were near the area where she was hiking. I know you're not suggesting a bear, but that idea is posted recently.

    I like the theory about vultures, but agree that they would not carry away her equipment.

    Assuming the skull belongs to Esther, it was found close to the route where she planned to hike. This supports the idea that the trails need to be better searched with drones to access areas that are not easily visible from the trails.

    I know that Dan wants to believe that Esther disappeared due to a criminal event, so I wonder whether he has subconsciously searched the trails with the intent of demonstrating that he has looked far and wide and she is not there. What I mean is that he may not want to find a skull near a trail that she planned to hike because that means she had an accident alone and died. This was the trip where she wanted to prove to herself and to him that she could tackle these hikes alone. She failed. He doesn't want to accept that, preferring to believe that a criminal was in those remote hiking areas to murder a woman.
     
  11. Federico_A

    Federico_A Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I was surprised to hear it was a skull. A lammergeier I once saw below Col Hourquette d'Ossoue (similar terrain to Porte de la Glere) was dropping a 9-inch bone from about 50 metres and took three attempts before it broke. A skull dropped from that height would surely shatter to smithereens, whether it was 'dry' or not ...? Either skulls are stronger than might be supposed or the bird wasn't very diligent...
    There's probably not much significance in it, but still... odd...
     
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  12. searancke

    searancke Well-Known Member

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  13. Tortoise

    Tortoise Well-Known Member

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    I've been wondering the same otto, and perhaps that's why they didn't find her if they were concentrating on the marked trails. It looks possible to someone inexperienced (like me) and then perhaps not having the equipment to turn around and track back. It could explain ascending Sauveguarde so late in the day and also her uncertainty of dipping into France. Google Maps
     
  14. Bethan

    Bethan Well-Known Member

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    Not wanting to be graphic…..but I must reply to this bolded part….skulls are incredibly strong & don’t break easily! They protect the most important part of the body….the brain.

    ( Of all the children I saw ‘admitted for observation following a head injury’ during my paediatrics rotation ( which was common eg a tumble downstairs) I only saw two kiddies who actually had a fractured skull, both of which had sustained a mighty accidental blow to the head)
     
  15. ZaZara

    ZaZara AstraZaZara

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  16. ZaZara

    ZaZara AstraZaZara

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    Path remains were found on 'would have been 'easy' hike for missing Brit'

    On Thursday afternoon two Spanish hikers were reported by Radio Huesca, a regional station, to have found a skull with long hair, suggesting a female, lying among boulders on the French approach to Port de la Glere.

    They alerted the Guardia Civil in Benasque, the Spanish town ringed by snow-clad summits that Dingley had set out from last year.

    After sending a team to the site to determine the remains were on French soil, the Spanish handed the case over to the French gendarmerie.

    By then French hikers also had reported seeing the remains.


    BBM


    Bolded what caught my attention.
    Different hikers / runners report seeing the remains within hours of each other. Earlier search parties plus Dan, who walked all these trails over again, did not notice them.
    Makes me wonder if the hikers took a slightly different trail, perhaps came from a different angle, or if the remains had not been there that long, only recently.
     
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  17. Konstantin

    Konstantin Active Member

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    i imagine Dan just didn’t go that exact way.

    The remains would have been under snow until recently.

    as we’ve seen from the case of the other hiker who was eaten by vultures a body could definitely have been consumed very quickly after a fatal accident. Remains could have been scattered fairly far and wide then buried under snow for months.

    we don’t actually know what exactly was found with the skull, only the limited information that was released to the public.

    a pack could have easily rolled down a hill or been torn apart by animals searching for food, nesting material…

    it’s the wilderness. Nature isn’t safe and kind No one was ever going to find a perfectly preserved body complete with all the hiking gear.
    I feel desperately sorry for Esther’s mum and Dan as the wait must be agonising.
     
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  18. sarahboirin

    sarahboirin Active Member

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  19. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    I don’t think the gear would be eaten by animals, though they might have been attracted to it by food or toothpaste residue. IMO they would use it to build nests.
     
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  20. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    It is typical, not an aberration, for missing hiker remains not to be evident when an individual is searching.
    SAR operates on grid searches and follows a specific protocol. SAR in this area is very proficient, but note that this is in the French area under stay-at-home orders at the time ED went missing. French LE got considerable public pushback for searching last winter.
    Often, missing hiker remains are found serendipitously. No matter whose these are, this is evidently the case.
     
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