Police searching for missing hiker Esther Dingley to hold summit on mystery disappearance

Police hunting for missing British hiker Esther Dingley are due to hold a summit over her mystery disappearance more than three weeks ago.

Esther, 37, was last heard from on November 22 while on a solo hike in the Pyrenees.

She sent her boyfriend Dan Colegate a picture of herself on top of the 2738m Pico Salvaguardia and was due to return to their home, in Gascony, south-west France, three days later but didn’t show up.

Now, French police say they will be holding a summit with Spanish police later this week to discuss her disappearance, according to The Sun.

French police captain Jean Marc Bordinaro confirmed: “French officers probing Esther disappearance will meet with detectives from Huesca in Spain later this week.

“The meeting will be a face-to-face one and will take place in Spain but the day has yet to be finalised.

“We are exchanging information on a regular basis but this will be a good chance to pinpoint exactly what has been done so far and decide where we go from here.

“Because of the suspension of the mountain search we are focusing on two lines of inquiry at the moment which are that she disappeared voluntarily or someone else had a hand in her disappearance.”

He added that investigators are looking at the possibility that she had an accident or fell victim to a criminal act.

While Spanish police have publicly said “all options are open” but privately say they feel the mountain accident explanation is the “most likely.”

Expert mountain guide Patrice Lagleize, who has been involved in mountain rescue for 30 years, also says he is convinced the travel blogger had an accident.

He told the paper: “The weather that day was very warm, it was 20C in the morning and people were hiking in shorts but by the end of the day it had dropped on the French side to just below freezing – a sudden drop in temperature like that could easily have caught her out.”

Esther had parked her camper van in Benasque, northern Spain then hitched to Pic de Sauvegarde to begin her solo trek in the Pyrenees.

She was seen by fellow hikers on November 22, when she also sent the photo to her partner from the mountain top.

A solar panel and communications mast were reflected in her sunglasses.

It is thought she was last seen by Spanish Olympic skier Marti Vigo del Arco and his girlfriend, who may have passed her on the peak.