British backpacker Esther Dingley has now been missing for 50 days, leaving her heartbroken boyfriend Dan Colegate in "excruciating pain".
Esther, 37, was hiking alone in the Pyrenees mountain range when she vanished, with there being no trace of her disappearance, her boyfriend now believes a third party may have played a part.
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, Dan, 38, shared his heartbreak as he slammed a report by the French police who claimed Esther may have voluntarily left her partner due to unhappiness in their relationship – a claim which Dan strongly denies, adding they were planning for a life in France.
The heartbroken business development manager said: "The pain of her disappearance is excruciating – but even that pales into insignificance against the pain of not knowing.
"It's crippling. The nightmares, the constant questioning, the helplessness. Every aspect of my life and the future I dream of includes Esther."
The couple made the decision to up-sticks from Country Durham with their five dogs and travel across the continent in a motorhome following a health scare for Dan.
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Following her disappearance, Dan and charity LBT Global have compiled a report which outlines three possible explanations for the disappearance of his girlfriend.
After Esther failed to return, he went about following in her footsteps in order to try and trace her, however, he now thinks she may have been abducted.
"It's a question I consider countless times every day," he told.
He continued: "I accept Esther may have had an accident but so much about that doesn't make sense. Why couldn't they find her? Or even a single trace of her equipment?
"The fact no trace was found – and given the specifics of the weather, terrain and location – I lean towards somebody else being involved, even though that raises its own questions."
While following in his girlfriend's footsteps, the 38-year-old encountered a group of hunters and thinks she may have come into contact with an armed stranger before saying: "It's my idea alone."
Esther's disappearance came just three days before she was due to return to the Spanish area of the Pyrenees following a month-long solo trek.
He later ruled out fears for her mental state, saying she suffered from depression ten years go and had "healed".
Anybody with information is urged to contact the LBT Global hotline on +44 (0)800 098 8485
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