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Three women in their 50s found after vanishing on 19-mile walk to Middleton-in-Teesdale

POLICE have found three women after they vanished on a 19-mile walk after they failed to return home.

Julie Newton, Joanne Race and Lucy Wood found shelter in a barn after sparking an investigation when they disappeared after heading for a walk in Middleton-in-Teesdale yesterday.

All of the women, in their mid-50s, had been planning to travel on Walk 23 which is a 19 mile round trip.

Durham Police launched an investigation after none of the women returned home after meeting up.

Temperatures in the area would have dropped to five degrees overnight, with scattered showers throughout the day.

But officers tracked down the women with the helpTeesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team.

Writing online the rescue team said: "At 11pm Sunday night the team were called out by Durham Constabulary to assist with the search for 3 hikers who were over due their walk.

"The three ladies set off from Middleton-In-Teesdale yesterday morning and were due home by 5pm last night.

"Team members and search dogs searched through the night along the hikers planned route, in driving rain and wind.

"The ladies managed to take shelter in a barn overnight due to one of the hikers injuring her ankle.

"Thankfully as a search group were finishing their sector, the missing hikers were located."

A spokesman for Durham Police added: "The three missing walkers have been located safe and well after an all night search by officers, and volunteers from Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team

"Thank you to everyone who shared our appeal."

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