POLICE continue to scour the Pyrenees mountains as detectives looks for more evidence into the death of hiker Esther Dingley. 

Local officers are using drones to assist their search as questions remain around her disappearance and subsequent death. 

Durham-born Esther Dingley, 37, had been walking solo in the mountains near the Spanish and French border and was last seen on November 22.

Her boyfriend Dan Colegate was house-sitting at a French farmhouse and reported her missing on November 25, after she failed to return.

Last week, French police confirmed bones - including a skull - were found at Port de la Glere, in the Pyrenees mountains, and on Friday it was confirmed that the bones were Esther's. 

READ MORE: Esther Dingley: Human remains found confirmed as hers

Colegate, and her mother, Ria Bryant, said in a joint statement: “We are distraught to report that we have received DNA confirmation that one of the bones found last week belongs to Esther.

“We have all known for many months that the chance we would get to hug our beloved Esther again, to feel her warm hand in ours, to see her beautiful smile and to watch the room light up again whenever she arrived was tiny, but with this confirmation that small hope has now faded. It is devastating beyond words.

Police are still searching for items belonging to Esther, including a yellow tent and red-and-grey rucksack.

The statement added: “At this stage, with just a single bone found and no sign of equipment or clothing in the immediate area (which has been closely searched again over several days), the details of what happened and where still remain unknown.

“The search and rescue teams intend to continue their search on foot and with drones, particularly trying to find some sign of Esther’s equipment to understand how this tragedy occurred.

“The family would like to express their gratitude to the officers in charge of the various police units in France and Spain, the British consulates in Bordeaux and Barcelona, and LBT Global, all of whom have remained in close contact with us for months now. Their continued support and their determination to find answers is welcome.”

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