England

Missing Katrice Lee: Drowning theory 'less likely'

Katrice Lee
Image caption Katrice, pictured just before her second birthday, disappeared in 1981

The father of a toddler who went missing in Germany more than 31 years ago has been told a theory she may have drowned is now considered "less likely".

Katrice Lee was two when she vanished from a shop near a military base where her father Richard was based.

Mr Lee, from Hartlepool, said Royal Military Police officers now doubted she had fallen into a nearby river.

The Ministry of Defence said it would be "inappropriate" to comment.

Katrice's family, including her mother Sharon, of Gosport, believe she was abducted as a surrogate child.

In an update from the Royal Military Police, Mr Lee said he was told investigators had been back to the river.

Mr Lee said: "The water theory has now been ruled as less likely which is what my family always believed from day one

"They've had water experts out there who took into account the day that Katrice went missing, the weather conditions, the speed of the river, the depth of the river and their opinion, as my family's opinion always has been, was that she never fell into the river and drowned."

In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said: "Our thoughts continue to be with the family of Katrice Lee.

"However, while the investigation continues it would be inappropriate for us to comment further."

Mr Lee said a DNA profile of Katrice was being circulated around European countries.

"There is a light at the end of the tunnel and we're nudging in the right direction," he said.

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