Tees

Woman charged over missing Katrice Lee messages

Katrice Lee Image copyright Family Photo
Image caption Katrice Lee went missing on her second birthday while out shopping with her mother

A woman has been charged after the family of a toddler who went missing in Germany almost 40 years ago was messaged by someone claiming to be her.

Katrice Lee, from Hartlepool, disappeared from a supermarket near a British Army base in Paderborn on her second birthday in 1981.

Merseyside Police said Heidi Robinson, of East Way, Moreton, has been charged with malicious communication.

The 40-year-old will appear at Wirral Magistrates' Court on 1 May.

Katrice went missing while with her mother at a Naafi supermarket, close to the base where her father was stationed.

Forensic search

Her family have never given up hope that she could still be alive.

They accused the military police of failing to interview key witnesses quickly enough after she vanished.

In 2012, Royal Military Police chiefs admitted mistakes were made during the initial investigation, and in 2017 the government agreed to review the case.

A year later, the Royal Military Police undertook a forensic search on the bank of the nearby River Alma.

The five-week search failed to find any clues, but while it was ongoing there were allegations that someone contacted the family, claiming to be the missing girl.

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