Police patrols supported by drones were scouring the Pyrenees mountains today as part of an ongoing investigation into the death of British hiker Esther Dingley.
Detectives in France confirmed that the reason the 37-year-old Oxford graduate came to die was still unknown, and that no theory could yet be ruled out - including foul play.
A skull with hair attached was discovered close to Port de la Gléré, a mountain pass on the country’s Spanish border, a week ago, and on Friday it was confirmed as the only known remains of Ms Dingley.
French police reportedly believe that her remains were hidden by rocks after falling, before animals moved the skull that was later discovered, according to The Times.
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The human remains found last Friday in the Pyrenees were confirmed as those of missing hiker Esther Dingley (pictured with her boyfriend Daniel Colegate), with French police now scouring the mountains to learn what happened to her
Oxford graduate Esther Dingley disappeared in November while on a solo-hike in the Pyrenees in November
‘The enquiry is ongoing, and being led by a public prosecutor with the assistance of judicial police and gendarmes,’ said a senior police source.
‘There are still many questions to be answered, and that is why mountain searches are continuing.
‘Foot patrols are in the area, and they are using drones to try and find further evidence connected with the case.’
This would include Ms Dingley’s personal equipment, such as a yellow tent and red-and-grey rucksack, said the source.
While a tragic accident is being prioritised by those leading the enquiry, other theories, including foul play, have not been dismissed, the source confirmed.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Ms Dingley went missing in the area around Port de la Gléré while on a solo walk, and her boyfriend, Dan Colegate, reported her missing on November 25.
Dingley had planned a solo hike from the Spanish town of Benasque to Pic de Sauvegarde, a mountaintop in the Pyrenees - which she reached on November 22, sending Colgate a picture via WhatsApp, which was their last contact
This followed Ms Dingley sending a message three days earlier from the top of the Pic de Sauvegarde mountain.
Forensics officers at the Scientific Police Laboratory in Toulouse matched the skull with Ms Dingley after her mother, Ria Byrant, provided DNA, along with dental records.
The enquiry in France is now being led by Christophe Amunzateguy, the Prosecutor of Saint-Gaudens.
He has been told by police colleagues that