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A popular British blogger may have gotten a ride from a stranger before disappearing in the French Pyrenees, sparking a search by rescue groups and authorities in two countries, according to reports.
The reports say Esther Dingley, 37, was last heard from Nov. 22 in the mountains in Luchonnais. She and her boyfriend write a widely-read blog documenting their hiking adventures. The search involves French and Spanish police.
On Friday, the BBC reported that the search for the woman had been halted due to bad weather.
Anyone who has seen or crossed paths with hiker Esther Dingley, 37, was invited to contact the rescue group PGHM of Bagneres de Luchon.
Dingley, of Durham, told her Facebook followers Nov. 19 she had accepted a lift from a fellow hiker due to bad weather and had altered her plans, the Mirror reported Thursday.
The mystery man may have dropped Dingley off at Benasque on the Spanish side of the mountain range where police found her van, the paper reported.
Police are trying to track him down, according to the paper.
“This man would have had conversations with her and may know what she planned,” the paper quoted an investigative source in Spain as saying. “They may have arranged to meet and hike another route. It is imperative that we find him.”
Dingley was due to meet her boyfriend Dan Colegate, 38, on Nov. 25 at a farm in Gascony, where he was staying as she explored the Pyrenees on a month-long solo trek, according to the paper.