Thank you for saying this. I think LE has been urging from the get-go to stay out of “completist logic”. Note how far ranging their November search was: they didn’t take any testimonial for gospel. And also note LE’s reference to ED as inexperienced. LE’s statements come from their SAR experience in that region as well as statistics; this brought them outside the narrative of ED had to have gone this way and behaved like so.
I’m a big fan of following LE and SAR for guidance in missing hiker cases.
Esther Dingley's final moments still a mystery as remains may have been scattered by animals
That's a finally nicely balanced article from the good old Independent. DC's earlier conviction of foul play may have been self-persuasion. Perhaps he didn't want to believe she had some hidden crisis.
It is difficult when high-functioning people suffer poor mental health, as it's not always easy to tell they are in trouble. I think conjecture about DC is for the police.I do not want to add to his troubles by accusing him of something, which is awful as the papers all seem to be implying it when they talk about 'tensions in their relationship'. Another person might have done something at Sauvegarde, and I wonder if this has been DC's thesis.
A local would know all the ins and outs of the area. I even thought about a local authority cover-up to prevent tourism being deterred! DC probably hiked all around acknowledging a local would know where to go to conceal a body.
Then again, unfamiliar terrain will give unfamiliar results. I still think accident or suicide are the main possibilities. Or even accident under great emotional strain. When my blood sugar is low and I'm stressed, I can imagine being desperate and near a mountain top and even the physiological effects of that increasing the chances of my confusion or lack of coordination. I can get that in Tesco, never mind in the Pyrenees.
If ED did go there herself, and was not moved post mortem, I think a range of factors could have brought about her death could be quite simple, but more complex in that environment - including light failing and some poor decisions. For the sake of the family I am reticent to go all out with the suicide conclusion. I also don't want her to have suffered at all or at the hands of some dreadful person, so I resist that conclusion too, though it remains possible.
As it is, someone early this morning was stabbed to death around the corner from my house so I have to get away as there are so many police sirens and ambulances...
I really hope everyone pulls through. I'm sorry if ED made a fatal error. If she was in pain, I hope people realise that when we take our lives in our hands it can be a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and there's ALWAYS someone you can turn to, however desperate things feel. I often wonder if climbers and extreme hikers have a death wish. I have walked in the area ED was in, which spooks me but makes me feel close to her in spirit. Being 'in the clouds' is exactly how it feels.
At the same time, it's an extremely rugged area and there are no circumstances in which you would find me walking there on my own in November. It's not judgment on her I issue here, but rather, wasn't her hike a kind of withdrawal that got noticed too late? It's so difficult because I don't judge DC either. I think we all need to be more educated about mental health, to help ourselves as much as anything. Social withdrawal is the single most common sign of depression there is.