Found Deceased Spain - Esther Dingley, from UK, missing in the Pyrenees, November 2020 #6

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

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  1. jsoap

    jsoap Well-Known Member

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    Sad news indeed.
    I can't help feeling that the chances of easily identifiable remains would be found right by the trail, are small.
     
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  2. RaincloudBee

    RaincloudBee Former Member

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    She either died naturally, but leaving no trace, no walking polls and a hard to find body. Or she died naturally in a different area not searched, or she was murdered and hidden, or she was murdered in a different area not searched.

    I don't think it was suicide. I think accident or murder.

    I'm wondering if she was hoping to bump into another hiker she had previously crossed paths with, because I think when you're out on your own those little encounters stick in your mind and you have a rough idea where others said they were heading. This could be why she went back up to the summit again, or an influencing factor.

    I think she's either fallen and is hidden by rock or she is buried near a cabin. She could have been led into the forest by some sex offender pretending to be offering her a lift though.
     
  3. Hexe

    Hexe Well-Known Member

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    We are talking high mountains here. The layer of soil is very thin there, with hard rock underneath. Digging a grave is next to impossible.
     
  4. fridaybaker

    fridaybaker Well-Known Member

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    While it is unusual for SAR to continue to search and LE says they haven’t ruled out foul play stands out, I think it’s also unusual for a next of kin to immediately jump to foul play and persistently stay on that track, and quite publicly.

    I just have a feeling that LE is responding to this situation rather than thinking foul play is likely in any meaningful way.
     
  5. ZaZara

    ZaZara AstraZaZara

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    LE cannot rule out foul play because there is no evidence to rule out foul play. That does not imply that foul play is likely.

    The only things that are certain is that the piece of skull belongs to Esther Dingley, and this means that Esther Dingley is dead. Also, the piece of skull wasn't in that location when it was searched at the beginning of July.

    Spanish LE / SAR have been very consistent in their approach:
    They would continue the search when they had the time - which they did.
    They expected hikers would help locate evidence, and that happened.

    Now that a new search area has been identified by the find of the bones, and involvement of wildlife is suspected in moving these bones, of course they are in a hurry to locate remains of Esther and her belongings, before the same wildlife destroys everything.

    Let's hope they find more, and also keep in mind that this may NOT be the case and that this piece of skull remains the only part found.
     
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  6. RaincloudBee

    RaincloudBee Former Member

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    Yes ok, but there is "mixed forest" on her supposed route from Refuge de Venasque to Port de la Glere. Or rocks in her backpack and buried in the lake.
     
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  7. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    That’s exactly why, a while back, I thought she might have gone to Maladeta. DC says she had crampons with her (I doubt this, but have no factual basis), and you could see a trail across the glacier from the Pic de S. However, I moved away from the idea.
     
  8. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    Agreed. I just think this is noteworthy. IMO you don’t see this much in “missing hiker found deceased” cases. There clearly really is something going on here.
     
  9. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    The aspect in your second to last paragraph (sorry, I can’t snip) is EXACTLY what I think is noteworthy. It’s not the usual practice at all. There’s no compelling reason to come up with whys and wherefores unless there’s something else happening.
    Furthermore, France LE was getting a lot of public flak early on about searching, because “stay in place” rules were in effect and ED was violating them. There was a significant hurdle against them proceeding. Yet, here they are.
     
  10. Steve13

    Steve13 Former Member

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    Yes. It's certainly the case that LE, SAR and prosecutors office would not use up scarce resources on the sentimental basis of humouring a family member. NB: if assets are being used to search for a dead person, they're not at the same time available to find the living. The strong view of experienced SAR folk there, and experienced people here at WS, is that an accident is perfectly possible or even likely. Many people go missing in this way each year. On that basis, the police would normally let the hills yield the body as and when. That the investigation has been kicked up a gear, allowing a prosecutor to demand data and other equipment, could only be justified by data points suggesting that foul play may realistically be in play.
     
  11. Steve13

    Steve13 Former Member

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    While it's perfectly true that, as experts here have pointed out, ED may well have had an accident, my own view is that things are swinging away from that towards DC's view that foul play may be the case. I think DC's expressed views on the risk Esther faced are far from perfect, but it does seem that his deeper instinct may be right. It's an awful thought. I think there may be useful things WS folk can do at this point; not least it seems likely that the police look here and so will see the interesting ideas. My own intention is to not refer to DC from now on as he's just suffered a terrible loss and to instead concentrate my efforts on other things. I must say that I'm sceptical about LBT 'Global', the former-tearoom-based entity now described by the New York Times as an 'international' organisation. I sense opportunism there. I feel that LBT Global's statements and dossier may be occluding the picture and actually exposing some people to unnecessary suspicion, rather than clarifying and helping folks understand and develop their thoughts.
     
  12. searancke

    searancke Well-Known Member

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    Although there may just not be that many people out and about getting lost at the moment... if Covid hadn't happened we should have been in the Alps this summer, mountain biking and hiking....instead we are in London, with fewer mountains and no getting lost!
     
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  13. IrisElizabeth

    IrisElizabeth Well-Known Member

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    I think DC has kind of backed them into a corner in a way - he has been so vocal in the press and social media about foul play that even though it is extremely unlikely, they can't definitively rule it out so they must be seen to investigate this scenario.
     
  14. sarahboirin

    sarahboirin On Time Out

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    just wait - i'm sure it's coming quite soon
     
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  15. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    Snipped for focus
    This is a very unusual thing to do in the case of a "missing hiker found deceased".SAR resources are not allocated this way (Spain LE/SAR even hinted that they were beyond protocol and were obliged to move on) , and French LE has already taken a public whipping. The find was in France, and France has jurisdiction.
    IMO in general, LE makes asset choices in terms of likelihood. SAR also by statistics and experience. It's very rare to frame a mountain misadventure as a potential criminal event.
     
  16. jsoap

    jsoap Well-Known Member

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    Again, the find is just over the border, where the French maintained that there was no evidence that she had crossed over.
     
  17. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    I thought I'd assemble a few different LE responses to "missing hiker found deceased at bottom of cliff", to reduce variables and study normal conditions for LE to pursue an investigation other than identifying remains. A criminal investigation? VERY unusual; they'd have to have some kind of tip.

    Keep in mind, that the location being looked (P de la G) at is an extremely steep slope, cliffy in places, which explains my selections.

    These are in the US, but I'm guessing you could find similar for Western Europe. I know one of these deceased hikers.

    Hiker found dead at bottom of cliff at Red River Gorge

    Hiker found dead near cliff trail at Zion National Park – Mylocalradio.com

    Missing hiker found dead down cliff

    Hiker who died on Mount Katahdin summit identified as Maryland man

    Man, woman found dead at bottom of cliff in San Pedro

    Then there's this:

    Newlywed Bride Pushes Husband Off Cliff 8 Days After Their Wedding
     
  18. otto

    otto Verified Expert

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    People disappear in the mountains every year, but I have never heard of an investigation into a mountain hiking disappearance as a murder. I too think that, because Esther's partner has repeatedly questioned whether her disappearance is a criminal act, investigators have to demonstrate that the disappearance was accident or suicide.
     
  19. jsoap

    jsoap Well-Known Member

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    I'd say the final climb at Angels Landing at Zion is a lot more dangerous than anything in this area.
     
  20. NoSI

    NoSI Verified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner/RXN

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    Angels Landing... Oh yes, agreed! I couldn't do it. It hurts to admit that, but flight not fight won. My heart rate increases just thinking about it...

    But, I guess, the risks associated with the two are a bit different. ED's route was remote, late in year with COVID restrictions in place = isolation, no help/assistance if something happened. Angel's landing is overrun with people and if something minor happens help/assistance is more likely. However, if you fall off the edge, you likely won't need assistance.
     
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