ESTHER Dingley may have been the victim of an “opportunistic crime”, her boyfriend has said.

Police last month resumed the search for Dingley, who disappeared in the Spanish Pyrenees last November while walking to reach her boyfriend on the other side of the border.

Dingley, 37, last made contact with her boyfriend Dan Colegate on November 22.

Despite a huge search on both sides of the border, no trace has been found of Dingley who had been touring Europe with Colegate, 38, for six years before she went missing.

The search was called off because of heavy snow and bad weather.

Specialist Civil Guard officers from a search and rescue unit have this week combed the 8,796ft Pico Salvaguardia mountain in the Spanish Pyrenees.

In an interview with the BBC, Colegate said he could not rule out his girlfriend had been the victim of crime. 

“Deciding whether Esther’s disappearance is due to an accident or a crime comes down to probability. With no hard evidence whatsoever to go on beyond Esther’s last known location, the police are using their knowledge of how most crimes are committed, to say: “This is unlikely to be a crime, we can’t rule it out, but it’s so unlikely that we lean towards an accident.”

“While I have deep respect for the abilities and commitment of the police forces in both France and Spain, this is an opinion I can no longer agree with.

“The search has now been so prolonged and so intense, that as far as I’m concerned the probability of an accident is now less than the probability of a criminal act.

Colegate added: “It isn’t a huge stretch of the imagination to visualise an opportunistic crime happening in such a situation; that a “highly unlikely” scenario did occur after all.”

Any information can be passed to LBT Global or the Spanish or French police.

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