FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 28th February 2021

Statements from Ria BRYANT and Daniel COLEGATE following speculation the investigation has been closed. The appeal contact details must be included in all publication.


I find it so hard to put into words how I have been feeling as I wait to find out what has happened to my daughter and best friend, our beautiful Esther. Each day has been nothing short of an excruciating hell for me, balancing on the edge of breaking down.

Not knowing where Esther is or what has happened to her is destroying me and our family, as life seems almost impossible to cope with. Esther’s mission in life is to spread love and happiness, but now I am numb and scared that I will never feel those emotions again.

It was my birthday last week and I missed her terribly. She has always been so thoughtful and attentive on birthdays and I found that very, very hard.


Regarding recent media coverage and comments by a member of the French police, my response is to restate my gratitude and respect for the hard work the police forces and the search and rescue teams in both France and Spain have already carried out and plan to continue with in the future.

I have been in close contact with the lead investigator in both countries since early December. Upon reading the recent articles, I contacted the Major in the French police who is in charge of the investigation to ask if these comments reflect the official position of his team. His response was to reassure me that the investigation is ongoing.

As I've said before, I'm aware of the challenges the police face in this investigation and I trust their abilities and determination.

For my part, I still intend to return to the area to repeat the intensive searches already carried out as soon as the weather permits this to be done effectively. I will also search further afield, scanning across the landscape systematically to rule out the area piece by piece. I'm aware that the search and rescue teams plan to also repeat their searches and I will remain in contact with them.

Finally, I want to reiterate that Esther is an experienced hiker who was carrying suitable equipment in terrain that would not have been a challenge to her. She had completed countless similar hikes successfully in the past, never leaving trails and being well aware of her body's needs and limitations. If she suffered an accident, for whatever reason, I firmly believe she would have been found on or close to one of the extensive, well-made paths in the area.

The fact no trace at all was found, despite a wide-ranging and intensive search in good weather before the snow arrived, was frustrating and baffling to those involved in the search at the time. That no other signs have been found elsewhere does not change the scope or intensity of that search.

At the moment, those of us who love Esther can only continue with the agonising wait for news.

LBT Global Hotline: +44 (0) 800 098 8485

WhatsApp: +44 (0) 7545 826 497




LBT Global is managing all media for this case. ALL media enquiries should be addressed by email to


Please respect the family’s privacy and do not approach them.


There are no interview opportunities at this point. Any requests should be filed as above.


LBT Global will release updates as they become available.


The attached photographs are free for use – pic credit LBT GLOBAL / FAMILY


The appeal contact details must be included in all publication.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 14th December 2020

“We just want her back…” – Esther Dingley’s mum and partner speak out

The mother and partner of Esther Dingley, 37, missing in the Pyrenees since November 22nd, today speak out after days of speculation across media and social sites.

Both are being supported by LBT Global, formally the Lucie Blackman Trust, which supports British nationals in crisis overseas.

Daniel Colegate, Esther’s partner of 19 years, and her mother Ria wanted to speak out to tell the world about Esther. Ria says,

“It is utterly out of character for her to be out of contact for this length of time and we are missing her desperately. Esther values family above everything and on all her trips we are always in regular contact, sharing the day to day small details of life. We communicated several times every day.”

The pair have been deeply upset at suggestions that Esther may have simply gone off in search of a ‘new life’. Daniel says:

“We spoke every day, the time apart worked as we expected, and we were very joyful when we spoke. We were missing each other. The hike she went missing on was to be her last hike before driving back. Our last conversation was totally loving and all smiles. She was so happy, and we were excited to see each other.

“Why the police who spoke to a journalist implied “things weren’t as happy as they looked” baffles me. I have never spoken to the person quoted. All the police I have spoken to just nodded and said things like “totally normal then…”

Reports of Mr Colegate being ‘quizzed’ several times by police have also upset him:

“During the first six days I spoke every day with both police search teams to coordinate my own hiking activities and get updates. When it became a criminal case, I was then interviewed the by the Spanish criminal investigation team on Wednesday 2nd December.

“The French criminal investigation team visited me at the house on Monday 7th December. I have not been ‘quizzed’ three times. I have given a statement to all the various different units involved in this case, including conversations with UK police.

“I think people imagine there is one set of police who keep hauling me in to go over my statement again like on TV. In reality, there are just lots of different people who need to go through the motions. I have cooperated fully with each one, going through my electronic data, social media, providing bank details, passwords etc. My only goal is to help them do what they need to do as quickly as possible.”

Esther’s Mum, Ria, says her daughter openly discussed her plans and decisions with her:

“Esther is an open book. She openly shared some of the difficult decisions that she and Dan would be facing soon, primarily linked to Brexit and the impact that would have on their itinerant lifestyle, but that didn't dampen her joy for the life they both were living.”

Daniel says that contrary to some reports, they are a normal couple:

“We’ve been together for almost 19 years – a couple since February 2002. I find it frustrating to be known as “the boyfriend”. We only did not get married because I was too sick due to the same illness that catalysed our nomadic lifestyle. We had to cancel our wedding in February 2014 because I had only just got out of hospital and could not walk. 2 months later we started travelling. We are soulmates. Once on the road, having a wedding certificate no longer seemed important.

“This summer we did a 1000-mile hike together and we always planned to spend 2 weeks doing our own thing afterwards, because we knew it was good for us as individuals and for our relationship. We had just spent 80 days in the wilderness with just each other for company. I wanted to relax in a house due to my health issues, Esther wanted to take advantage of the mild autumn and do some more outdoor things.

“That was why she went touring solo; it was pre-planned and agreed upon. It was a non-event for us. We had done it before.

“She only crossed into Spain because the French announced a new lockdown a few days after she set off. Then, because the weather was so mild and she was having fun, she kept extending the trip by a few days at time. If she had come home, she would have been tied to the house as I was. Our conversations essentially boiled down to “I miss you but I’m also glad you’re having a good time”. And she knew I was happy resting in a house.”

Esther is an experienced mountain hiker. Mr Colegate is keen to point out her experience:

“Esther was not on a “month long hike” or “month long solo trip”. Her trip was ad hoc, consisting of day walks, days in the motorhome and several multiday walks. She always let me know when she was setting off and when she expected to be back.

“In this case, she spent Nov 20th in the motorhome and set out on Nov 21st. The “mystery man” who gave her a lift back to the motorhome on the 19th (after her previous hiking trip) spoke to the police already.

“Esther’s a very experienced hiker. The terrain she was on is not difficult. The weather was excellent. It does not mean she hasn’t had an accident; I just consider it unlikely. Reference to falling into the lakes, which was a story for a day, is also possible, but also highly unlikely. The paths near the lakes are wide and easy. You do not just fall ten metres sideways into a lake.

“There seems to be a perception that because it’s the mountains, because it’s nearly winter and because Esther was alone, that what she was doing was reckless and “of course” she has had an accident”.

“The situation on the ground is that the conditions were perfect, Esther had all the equipment to look after herself, and from the peak we last spoke on, she could be at a road in either France or Spain within 90 minutes – 2 hours. She was not lost in the Amazon rainforest. These are trails that families walk in summer.

"Esther specified her route from the summit we spoke on. She had two hours of daylight to reach a refuge winter room, a distance that would have taken her less than an hour. From my own visits I know she wouldn't have had a phone signal again on Sunday afternoon/evening, but she would have had a signal very soon after setting off the next day. Because Esther is so particular about sending updates to family, if Esther did have an accident it must have been in that very small area, an area that was pored over daily until the heavy snow arrived."

Much has been made of reports of a light seen in the motorhome. LBT Global has had it confirmed this was due to police activity.

Both Mr Colegate and Ria are desperate to have her home safely. Ria says:

“We are utterly distraught not knowing where Esther is or what has happened to her and would implore anyone who may know anything, however seemingly insignificant, to come forward with that information. We are desperate to see our beloved girl again so thank you for anything you can do to help us find her”.

LBT Global has set up a hotline for information and an email address is available. There have been reports that people are worried about coming forward due to their committing a breach of lockdown rules. Chief Executive Matthew Searle MBE says:

“We are not interested in any rule breaking. If you have information please do pass it to us, anonymously if you wish, and it will be passed to investigators. Whether somebody has stepped over a border or not is immaterial, what matters is that every bit of information that could bring Esther home is provided.”

Mr Searle urges a swift end to speculation:

“There is a huge amount of interest in this case and we have had hundreds of enquiries. Our priority is supporting Esther’s loved ones through this traumatic time and it is clear they are deeply upset at some of the speculation. Please rely on facts, and please stop forensically examining Esther’s personal life on social groups. The public do not have an automatic right to know everything about her life – just that information that can help bring her home. Making assumptions and spreading unconfirmed assumptions is unhelpful and unfair, as well as deeply upsetting for those closest to Esther.”

LBT Global Hotline: +44 (0) 800 098 8485

WhatsApp: +44 (0) 7545 826 497




LBT Global is managing all media for this case. ALL media enquiries should be addressed by email to Please respect the family’s privacy and do not approach them.

There are no interview opportunities at this point. Any requests should be filed as above.

LBT Global will release updates as they become available.

The attached photographs are free for use – pic credit LBT GLOBAL / FAMILY

The appeal contact details must be included in all publication.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 10th January 2021

Below is a link to Daniel Colegate’s dossier into the disappearance of his partner, Esther DINGLEY.


You may reproduce any or all of the document in part or entirety – though we do request the section on contacting LBT Global is included in all pieces.


Please credit all images as original noted source, and images of Esther LBT GLOBAL / FAMILY


Any interview request should be via email to