Mother of Esther Dingley to give DNA sample to French police to help identify ...

Mother of Esther Dingley to give DNA sample to French police to help identify ...
Mother of Esther Dingley to give DNA sample to French police to help identify ...

The mother of missing British hiker Esther Dingley is set to provide DNA samples to French authorities after a human skull was found in the Pyrenees.

It had been reported on Thursday that a human skull had been found, though French and Spanish authorities had previously only confirmed that bones had been found.

Now though, Ria Bryant, 74, is set to provide DNA samples in a bid to try and identify a skull found on the Pyrenees path, The Sunday Times reports.  

After a search team concluded that the discovered remains lay on French territory, they were passed over to French authorities, who have also requested a scan of Esther's teeth and a copy of her dental records.

Ria Bryant, 74, the mother of missing British hiker Esther Dingley, is set to provide DNA samples to French authorities after a human skull was found in the Pyrenees. Pictured: Ria, in June 2020 with Esther (middle), and her partner Terry (right)

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Ria Bryant, 74, the mother of missing British hiker Esther Dingley, is set to provide DNA samples to French authorities after a human skull was found in the Pyrenees. Pictured: Ria, in June 2020 with Esther (middle), and her partner Terry (right)

Despite the discovery of the skull, Ria told the publication that officials could find no other traces of remains or belongings.

She said: 'It's upsetting that it's not clear and definitive.'

Police have said that it could take as long as a week for the results of the DNA testing on the skull to be returned.

It comes after Esther's boyfriend said the mountain pass where bones have been found was an 'easy' route that was 'well within her capabilities', as her family appealed for 'urgent' answers after the discovery.

Dan Colegate said Puerto de la Glera, Port de la Glere in French, was part of the route he had expected her to take in a dossier he released in January through support charity LBT Global.

Meanwhile Esther's family said in a statement they are 'urgently seeking clarification' after bones believed to be human were found on Friday near where the hiker was last seen. 

Esther's boyfriend said the mountain pass where bones have been found was an 'easy' route that was 'well within her capabilities'

Esther's boyfriend said the mountain pass where bones have been found was an 'easy' route that was 'well within her capabilities'

An investigating French source on Saturday said there was no 'immediate proof as to the identity of the remains' and that 'a medico-legal procedure will be followed to establish the identity of Person X in the days ahead.' 

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Dan wrote in the 23-page report about Esther's plans to do a circular hike between Spain and France which involved sleeping at a mountain refuge.

He said in his dossier: 'An individual that Esther met on November 19 came forward to say he had specifically suggested this route through France, between Port de Venasque and Port de la Glere, to Esther when he met her. 

'There is no reason to think that Esther did not stick to this plan.' 

In a section titled 'Esther's Planned Onward Route', he suggested she reached the mountain refuge in France and slept there overnight before continuing a hike to return to her initial starting point in Spain.

He said: 'Her onward route would have involved a descent northwards towards the Hospice de France, a flat traverse westwards around the Imperatrice Way, and a climb southwards to the border at Port de la Glere. 

'From the border the route descends back towards Hospital de Benasque. 

'This route would have been well within Esther's capabilities for a day hike, in addition to the fact she had a tent, camping equipment and significant experience using it. 

'Distance was 16km with 1100 metres of ascent, five to seven hours of hiking time. 

'The weather remained excellent that Monday. 

The route is very obvious on the ground and also from the terrain when starting from Refuge de Venasque. 

British hiker Esther Dingley  (pictured with her boyfriend Daniel Colegate) went missing November 22

British hiker Esther Dingley  (pictured with her boyfriend Daniel Colegate) went missing November 22 

A mountain runner raised the alarm around 2pm on Friday after discovering what he believed could be the remains of a body near the spot where missing hiker Esther Dingley went missing late last year.

A mountain runner raised the alarm around 2pm on Friday after discovering what he believed could be the remains of a body near the spot where missing hiker Esther Dingley went missing late last year.

'It's basically impossible to get lost in good visibility here. 

'The entire route is a well-made and easy to follow path. 

'Although Esther believed and had warned family that there was poor signal in the area, in fact the signal is very good on the French side. 

'Within half an hour of leaving the refuge, Esther should have been able to use her phone for most of the rest of the day.' ov

Officers from the Civil Guard went to the spot but alerted their French counterparts after confirming it was on the other side of the border. 

One unconfirmed local report said the unnamed runner had come across a human skull. 

Specialist officers from Spain and France have carried out several searches of the area around the Puerto de la Glera hiking trail, where Esther was hiking before she went missing

 Specialist officers from Spain and France have carried out several searches of the area around the Puerto de la Glera hiking trail, where Esther was hiking before she went missing

A Spanish radio station covering the province of Huesca which includes the town of Benasque where Esther began the hike she vanished on, said: 'Sources close to the investigation have indicated that the skull could correspond to Esther Dingley's because of the colour and length of the hair.' 

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