Missing Gosport toddler Katrice Lee search 'botched'

Katrice Lee
Image caption Katrice Lee was two when she went missing

The investigation into the disappearance of a Hampshire toddler was "botched" from the start, an MP has claimed in Parliament.

Katrice Lee vanished 31 years ago from a shop at a German military base where her Teesside father was stationed.

MPs have held a debate in the House of Commons about how the authorities handled the investigation.

Hartlepool Labour MP Iain Wright said the family had waited "far too long" and "action must be taken".

And Conservative MP for Gosport Caroline Dinenage criticised David Cameron for refusing to meet with the family.

Abduction theory

Katrice's mother Sharon Lee and sister Natasha, from Gosport, and her father Richard Lee, from Hartlepool, believe Katrice is still alive and she was abducted.

Defence Minister Mark Francois said he would try to meet them before Christmas.

He said: "We do not have a time machine and we cannot go back to that day in 1981 when Katrice disappeared.

"But what the Royal Military Police are doing is rigorously applying all available modern investigative techniques and seeking the advice of leading international colleagues.

"In other words they are doing everything practically possible to get to the bottom of what happened to Katrice."

Katrice disappeared on her second birthday while her family were out shopping for party food.

Her mother left her at the checkout with her aunt for just a moment as she went to get crisps but when she returned Katrice had gone.

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