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Esther Dingler: British climber’s death ruled accident by authorities

Esther Dingler: British climber’s death ruled accident by authorities
Authorities believe experienced climber could have slipped and fallen down a sheer slope

British hiker Esther Dingley fell nearly 30 metres to her death whilst trekking the Pyrenees alone, an investigating French prosecutor has said.

Ms Dingley’s remains were found by her partner Daniel Colegate, more than eight months after she disappeared.

He had reported his 37-year-old partner missing in November after she failed to check in with him at an agreed time.

Mr Colegate, 37, was 100 miles away from the Pyrenees at the time of the accident, and is not considered a suspect.

It is unknown exactly what caused Dingley – an experienced climber – to lose her footing and fall. However, authorities believe she could have slipped and fallen down a sheer slope close to the peak of the Pic de la Glere.

French prosecutor Christophe Amunzateguy told Daily Mail: “The accidental theory is now more than strong because the body was found directly below a kind of rocky peak.

“We believe that Esther would have fallen because along this wall we found items that belonged to her, and they ended up at the bottom.

“We estimate the fall at about 20 or even 30 metres.”

He added the “exact and precise circumstance of the death” would be heard to decipher given the condition of her body.

Ms Dingley last communicated with Mr Colegate from the summit of the Pic de Sauvegarde, sending a picture at around 4pm on 22 November.

In a joint statement with Ms Dingley’s mother Ria Bryant, Mr Colegate said: “We have all known for many months that the chance we would get to hug out beloved Esther again, to feel her warm hand in ours, to see her beautiful smile  and to watch the room light up again whenever she arrived, was tiny, but with this confirmation that small hope has now faded.

“It is devastating beyond words.”