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.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    7,022
    Likes Received:
    25,986
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I have a foot of snow in US. I live roughly at sea level. It will be here 'til late April-May. Misery.
     
    PeggyHenry likes this.


  2. RedHaus

    RedHaus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    2,964
    Trophy Points:
    93
    1800m per the Super Bagneres website.... So about 900m lower than the pic de Sauvegarde. I think they've had a bad ski season so far, from what I've seen...
    Superbagneres ski holiday & resort guide 2021/2022 | SNO ®.
     
  3. PeggyHenry

    PeggyHenry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    1,432
    Trophy Points:
    93
    That’s a nice straightforward explanation and the sort of thing I’m thinking but I remember a report which stated GPS tracking stopped for Esther after the Pic de Sauvegarde timing. That doesn’t really tie up with Esther going back down. I think something must’ve occurred shortly after the pic.
    Though I’m trying to think harder about the GPS tracking bit. Do we know if she carried a device for GPS or does that mean her phone? The article which I will try and find specifically said GPS tracking ... if there was no further tracking after around 4 then I’m trying to work out what that actually means. E. G was a device turned off/ was her phone signal turned off .. either way the article implied no further tracking of Esther. If she did go back down the mountain then she or someone else deliberately turned off all means of tracking her.

    ETA I searched google and found report on page 2 of first thread by Pommymommy, which stated:

    Gaillard said the gendarmes had not been able to ascertain where Dingley had gone missing. Her last contact with Colegate was via a WhatsApp call on Sunday 22 November, when she indicated she was on the Pic de Sauvegarde.

    “After that she put her phone on airplane mode to save the battery and there is no data use or GPS trace since then. Theoretically her itinerary meant she should have done the loop and crossed into France before returning, but we cannot say for sure. We have no indication of whether she crossed the border or not,” Gaillard said.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
  4. PeggyHenry

    PeggyHenry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    1,432
    Trophy Points:
    93
    As someone mentioned I suppose she could’ve arranged a meeting with someone who failed to turn up leaving Esther floundering on the mountain wondering what to do . But in that case she would have kept her phone turned on to make contact.
     
  5. jenpil

    jenpil Former Member

    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    1,555
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I remember reading that last year in the newspaper articles online, and now I know more details about the case through here, it makes me all the less hopeful. When 2 countries/states/counties leads the search, I always think there's less focus. And that's without a language barrier.

    Are LE/the family able to get information from the network and phone provider as to hoe much battery her phone had before it was switched to 'airplane mode'.

    Why she was saving battery like this? She was on her way down the mountain and the phone should have been fully charged before going up.

    Didn't I read she had a battery pack phone charger with her?
     
  6. BobbleBob

    BobbleBob Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    330
    Trophy Points:
    53
    BBM

    From the dossier it’s just a mobile phone with maps.me installed on it, if I remember correctly. There wouldn’t be any gps tracking available without a data connection (cell or wifi) to transmit it so I wouldn’t expect there to be any trail if the phone was in airplane mode (all transceivers off)/switched off/dead (due to damage or no battery life left).

    I don’t recollect there being any mention of any emergency beacon (either used by Dan and Esther or Esther on her own on this adventure) beyond the phone, which is worthless with no reception.

    If she had something like a Garmin InReach/GPSMAP unit with InReach built in she could have sent a message/had the tracking on. But it appears they both just relied on a mobile phone for all GPS and emergency communication.

    On a side note a dedicated GPS unit is not too expensive (I’ve both a Satmap Active20 and a Garmin GPSMAP 66i). Both have proper (read large) GPS antenna and will pick up a signal in a building let alone outdoors. Mobile phones on the other hand a tiny antenna, usually hidden under the screen from what I’ve seen/read, so they aren’t as reliable and usually need nearby wifi and cell towers to get a fix.

    The Garmin even has the ability to communicate via text (using iridium satellites) with an emergency centre who can assist getting local SAR to come and get you if needs be. You can also send messages to people on it to let them know where you are etc, I also believe there’s spot tracking that you can set up with it.

    There is of course a subscription you have to pay for the service BUT if you’re doing an 80 day hike in the alps it’s a small price to pay for some extra piece of mind that you can get help if you need it.
     
    Natkea, fridaybaker, patCee and 6 others like this.
  7. BobbleBob

    BobbleBob Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    330
    Trophy Points:
    53
    I’d mentioned that earlier and my thoughts on it were that Esther may have been in communication with the other person/people while on the pic (she was there for some time according to the dossier). They may have arranged to meet further down the mountain or they may have been unable to meet and Esther made her way back down alone and in the dark.

    These potential others may have already been in contact with LE but not bothered to sell their story to the press so we may never hear of them.

    I still believe Esther has had an accident vs any foul play or self inflicted misadventure.

    As always my opinion only.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
  8. Tortoise

    Tortoise Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    18,692
    Likes Received:
    82,173
    Trophy Points:
    113
    (Month-old article)

    THE search for British hiker Esther Dingley may not resume on the mountain top where she was last seen until July.


    Police are hoping to begin looking around 8,983ft Pico Salvaguardia in April but heavy snow may delay them.

    Sgt Jorge Lopez Ramos, a Spanish mountain rescue chief in Benasque where Esther was based, said: “The peak where we know Esther last made contact with her partner from is nearly 9,000ft above sea level so it will be a while before the snow there thaws and we can see what’s underneath it.

    “And at the moment there’s a risk of avalanches which makes it dangerous. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/13979459/esther-dingley-search-off-until-july/
     
  9. stmarysmead

    stmarysmead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    12,708
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Good questions, Jenpil. Yes, Dan says she had a battery charger.

    ‘ED had spent 40 minutes on the Pic. She’d communicated with everyone she chose. But if her disappearance was planned, voluntary, then the phone was of no further use...in fact, a detriment to her privacy, her plan. This would be the case whether it was suicide or a new life that she intended.

    No more constant texts from Dan, no more advice, no more pleading, no more demands. IMO of course.

    I have been wondering again about the repeat photos. Suppose we consider everything that was posted on FB after she left on Oct 22 as well executed business marketing. Try reading their FB as if it were, first and foremost, business advertising for the sale of books. Not necessarily saying that was the case, but an interesting sleuthing experiment IMO.

    Dan knew some great PR was coming their way and it would drive people to social media for a look. Would he have been requesting that ED, as the one ‘adventuring’ during this vital period, keep feeding FB...get out there and get material, get photos, fresh material every day? And perhaps , just speculating here, this added to ED’s stress but she tried to placate him with photos and frequent praise about how she owed her hiking prowess all to him?

    But she really wasn’t doing all that much. So speculating again, she recycled photos...thinking the new ‘public’ coming to their FB wouldn’t notice. She repeatedly posts about the same trip. One might even wonder if ED was extending her trip because she needed to be feeding FB right up until the huge BBC breakthrough occurred on Nov 22. Was it a mutual business decision?

    Perhaps already weary with a return to their old demanding lifestyle, she sought out an alternative for herself. If that voluntary disappearance was not suicide...she definitely needed a third party to assist IMO. But that person need not have great resources, because ED had been living a very simple life and from her words, seemed to prefer it.

    It’s my opinion that she was depressed when she left. It’s my opinion that she was questioning the relationship. But like many couples running a business together, she did her part for the business until she had made her personal decision on how to go forward. Maybe she made it during the 24 hours on the 21st when Dan was sending all those messages, but couldn’t reach her.

    Who knows? Just my imagination at work.
     
    Normal Norm, patCee, Muva and 11 others like this.
  10. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    7,022
    Likes Received:
    25,986
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Snipped for focus

    The dossier doesn't list a PLB (Personal Locator Beacon), so I think no PLB.
     
    The_Investigator and RedHaus like this.
  11. jenpil

    jenpil Former Member

    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    1,555
    Trophy Points:
    93
    I think I am:

    75% accident
    20% suicide
    5% kidnap/murder
     
    Kasmeer, rhino, RedHaus and 1 other person like this.
  12. IrisElizabeth

    IrisElizabeth Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    416
    Trophy Points:
    53
    It's DC who said she turned airplane mode on to save batteries, but she may have tuned airplane mode on to stop any more messages or phone calls coming in from him rather than for battery saving purposes - but still wanted the phone on to take photos/use the maps she downloaded.
     
  13. Megnut

    Megnut Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,267
    Likes Received:
    52,024
    Trophy Points:
    113
    IF, big IF, Esther was unsure of how she wanted her life to go, she'd be very aware of the costs of staying and leaving, especially because their new marketing strategy would depend on staying.

    It only takes a moment to meet someone new and have an epiphany. Maybe the first part of her trek was sorting out what she did and didn't want... and the latter, carefree, having found a kindred soul and the promise of a fresh life. Another hiker with ample gear. Her texts back to Dan were markedly fewer and farther between.... her last one didn't strike me as a countdown, an "I can hardly wait to see you again in just x hours!" message. And actually could be construed as a set up "I'll mostly be out of range for days now."

    If Esther wanted out but DIDN'T want to break Dan's heart that way, and if Esther was sensitive to the marketing endeavor and didn't want to collapse it, what better way than to disappear? Dan could think she died on the mountain, and when the dust settled, she could be in contact with her family, that she's alive and well. And reconnect, with a very small footprint and zero social media presence.

    Do I THINK that's what happened? I don't know. I do know though that sometimes tender, kind people do strange things in order NOT to have to be mean. She may have made a decision in favor of preserving her autonomy but also preserving Dan's enterprise.

    That last trip up, a chance for closure for her, then scurried back to a fellow traveler or alternately to a predetermined location, as yet undiscovered, to leave not HER world behind, but sadly, THE world.

    Or she intended to return to her camper van and to her life with Dan and one misstep changed everything.

    Be found, dear lass.

    JMO
     
  14. Puzzles

    Puzzles Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    2,918
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Snipped for focus and BBM.

    I agree with you, @stmarysmead. Although we know we can’t make a diagnosis of depression, if Esther did suffer from it, any decisions she made could have been filtered through abject despair, and caused her disappearance.

    Since we first learned Esther sometimes asked others for food, I’ve wondered if it was because chronic or recurring bouts of depression caused a complete lack of interest in eating, and therefore an inability to plan meals for herself.

    Some people experiencing depression have little or no appetite for food. A dear friend can occasionally force himself to eat an orange, or a couple of slices of tomato, but chewing and swallowing even a corner of a cracker or a bite of cheese is impossible.

    Perhaps Esther asked for fruit, on her last known hike, and at other times, because it was one of the few things she could manage to eat.

    And when she took only oatmeal, lettuce and a pepper for overnight hiking, maybe she managed to eat the potato her fellow hiker provided because her mood eased as she had company that night.

    We know Esther experienced depression in the past. We've discussed what some of us believe are signs of her emotional fragility, prior to her disappearance. Perhaps we can also add the minimal food she'd carried as an actual symptom of her being significantly depressed.

    A google search included these three results describing appetite as a diagnostic marker for major depressive disorder (MDD.) Although the percentage of those who experience appetite and weight loss during depression differs between the articles, all report higher incidences of appetite loss than appetite gain.

    1. "A neurochemical theory of appetite and weight changes in depressive states.

    Abstract

    "The literature concerning appetite and weight changes in depressive illness is reviewed. Diminished appetite and weight loss have for about 100 years been regarded as prominent symptoms of depressive illness. A tendency for some depressives to gain weight has also been recognized. About 85% of depressives lose weight and 15% gain weight. There appears to be a tendency for weight gain to be commoner in milder depressions.” A neurochemical theory of appetite and weight changes in depressive states - PubMed

    2. "...Although changes in appetite and weight have long been recognized as important features of depression1and are codified in the DSM-5 as diagnostic markers of major depressive disorder (MDD), remarkably little attention has been paid to what the direction of appetite changes per se reveal about the dissociable pathophysiologies that underlie the clinical diagnosis of MDD. This paucity of research is surprising in light of evidence that appetite and weight changes are often the most discriminating symptoms in latent class analyses of depression subtypes 25. Nearly half of MDD patients exhibit depression-related decreases in appetite and nearly a third experience depression-related weight-loss 6. By contrast, approximately a third of MDD patients exhibit depression-related increases in appetite with a fifth experiencing depression-related weight-gain. These changes in appetite and weight are stable across depressive episodes7 and within a two-year time window 8, suggesting that they may be enduring markers of how depression manifests within an individual..."Appetite Changes Reveal Depression Subgroups with Distinct Endocrine, Metabolic, and Immune States

    3."...Patients with major depressive disorder exhibit marked heterogeneity in appetite, with approximately 48% of adult depressed patients exhibiting depression-related decreases in appetite, while approximately 35% exhibit depression-related increases in appetite (5). In fact, across large depressed cohorts, appetite and weight changes are often some of the most discriminating symptoms in latent class analyses of depression subtypes (6-8). These changes in appetite and weight are 75-85% stable across depressive episodes (9, 10), suggesting that they may be trait markers of how depression is manifested within a particular individual." Depression-related increases and decreases in appetite reveal dissociable patterns of aberrant activity in reward and interoceptive neurocircuitry

    Edited to include quotation marks.
     
    Zoomy, RedHaus and stmarysmead like this.
  15. PeggyHenry

    PeggyHenry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    1,432
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Esther had been vague in her communications with DC .. he had been messaging her a lot. She had said ‘ I think I can see you’ not once but twice. Why would anyone say that?? I take that at face value. She thought she could see him. I really think she thought she could see him.
    Why the video call from the pic on 22 nd? The day before she posted a photo on Instagram from the pic. The next day she video calls DC from the pic. This is the person who she is supposedly on a break from. There’s something that doesn’t add up .. there’s something we don’t know.
     
  16. stmarysmead

    stmarysmead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    12,708
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I’m right there with you...100%.
     
  17. Puzzles

    Puzzles Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    2,918
    Trophy Points:
    93
    BBM

    Hi @PeggyHenry,

    I don't think we've talked about that possibility before, but rather dismissed Esther's "I think I can see you" as being an affectionate phrase she was in the habit of repeating to Dan.

    I find it eerie if Esther believed she could really see Dan from where she was on the pic, as that could certainly mean someone was hiking up toward her.

    Friend or foe? A benign and welcomed friend, or someone who caused her harm?

    Or it could signify Esther was experiencing episodes of delusional thinking on the days she wrote "I think I can see you."

    Does anyone recall the date and circumstances of when she first wrote those words?

    Your last sentence of "There’s something that doesn’t add up .. there’s something we don’t know." is all I am certain of...
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2021
    Muva, rls11, The_Investigator and 2 others like this.
  18. Megnut

    Megnut Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,267
    Likes Received:
    52,024
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Her texts, as shared with us, seem perfunctory. Not newsy, not overly personal. They don't engage. Not conversational....

    Why?

    Distancing? Placating?

    "I think I can see you."

    Did she see SOMEONE?

    Was that a pet phrase? Something that means something to a couple but nothing to an outsider?

    Or is it metaphorical, like I see the same moon you see.... we're both sleeping under the same big sky....

    Were short, vague texts common to Esther? Did they exchange longer texts, letters, calls that we just don't know about?

    Did Esther feel guilty, trapped, smothered, controlled, stifled and was trying to find a graceful way out?

    Her texts just don't exude emotion to me.

    Perplexing.

    JMO
     
  19. stmarysmead

    stmarysmead Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    12,708
    Trophy Points:
    113
    21st November
    10:07 – Leaves the motorhome - “Now going to try hitching”
    10:08 – Sends Dan photographs of her map to specify the area she will be hiking in.
    10:35 – “2 hitches so far – halfway!”
    13:11 – Reaches the top of Pic de Sauvegarde.
    “So happy....think I can see you”
    “That’s bagneres and super bagneres”
    “Love you so much XXX thank you for encouraging me and giving me this confidence...Really appreciated all the msgs to get me on my way this morning”


    Evening – Spends the night alone at Cabana de la Besurtas on the Spanish side (Esther had no phone signal once she left the peak, but she confirmed this the following day when she returned to Pic de Sauvegarde).


    22nd November
    15:29 – Returns to Pic de Sauvegarde
    15:31 – “Not much signal in this area sorry”
    “I’m on a col/peak so can’t stop for too long but wanted you to know. Can’t wait to read all your messages. Thank you xxx.
    “Love you very much XXX having a really good time.”
    15:41 – Sends 2 selfies.
    16:04: “I’m heading off now...Maybe have signal but not sure. Sorry. I think I can see you !!!”
    16:06: “Still in the same area. Tomorrow heading for Port de le Glere or something spelt like that. Might dip into France. Hoping Refuge Venasque has a winter room. Keep you posted when can xx”
    “Love you xxx”
    16:07 – Video Call with Dan lasting for 1:36


    Bringing this forward from the dossier.

    So on Nov 21..ED reaches the top of the Pic and has WIFI. Dan gets 3 short texts...including “Think I can see you.”
    Does she make other calls? She is not heard of again for around 26 hours.

    The next day, she’s up on the same Pic but late in the day. She says she can’t stay long, but even though it’s late...she stays over 30 minutes before she texts Dan again...and uses that phrase again.

    Something is off about this whole scenario.

    On the 21st, she was early in her ascent and should have had some interest in the upcoming BBC interview. Her FB is full of marketing posts about her books. Wouldn’t she ask if sales are increasing...instead it all sounds so scripted. Not even a text about the mundane things partners discuss when they are apart...”have you heard anything about the dogs?’ “what are you eating for supper?” “What did YOU do today?”

    Same thing the next day. And after she reads “all his messages” she still has only cute repartee...no questions of his to answer? No comment about this great BBC interview. If this were dialogue in book, I’d stop reading because it just is not real.

    I would think that Dan would have been alarmed.
     
  20. jenpil

    jenpil Former Member

    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    1,555
    Trophy Points:
    93
    "Really appreciated all the msgs to get me on my way this morning"

    That's the most telling one, for me.
    Sounds like she was sitting around in the motorhome feeling low and down and not really wanting to go out. Sounds like Esther had to contact Dan to provide huge emotional support to get her up and about.

    I think by now the fun had gone out of the trip for her, and she was feeling a bit lonely and lost.
    At this point, why not just drive the campervan back to Dan at the house?
    Nothing lost. When the fun stops, stop.

    She pushed herself up there the next day too late in the day, was up there in the dark, and I'm sure, in my opinion, had an accident in the dark off trail, due to a combination of tiredness, unpreparedness, lack of energy and nutrition, lack of equipment and a state of mind that seemed already fraught.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page



  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice