Boris Johnson must 'stick to his word' and meet dad of missing Hartlepool toddler

THE sister of a toddler who went missing 40 years ago has said Prime Minister Boris Johnson must “stick to his word” after promising to meet her dad “father to father”.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 5:26 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 6:01 pm
Katrice Lee disappeared nearly 40 years ago on her second birthday.

Katrice Lee was two when she vanished at a supermarket near where her father was stationed in the Army in Paderborn, in what was then West Germany, nearly 40 years ago on November 28, 1981.

Her case has in recent years been re-investigated by the Royal Military Police until officers last December scaled back the probe after saying they would only react to new lines of inquiry.

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Now Katrice’s sister, Natasha Walker, 47, insists Mr Johnson must see his commitment through after Conservative predecessor David Cameron failed to make good on a similar promise.

Natasha, who wants to be at the meeting, said: “I hope he sticks to his word. I will believe it when I see it.

“This has been promised before and it never happened.

“It’s about time that Katrice’s case was taken seriously and is heard.’

Family members say there were failings in the immediate search and subsequent investigations – and want answers from the Ministry of Defence.

Natasha, who now lives in Gosport, Hampshire wants a civilian force to look at the case.

"I want someone else to look at Katrice’s case other than just the military who have no authority over civilians,” she said.

Mr Lee, who believes Katrice is still alive after she was possibly kidnapped by a childless couple or to be sold on, has also raised similar doubts to Natasha about the prospects of a meeting.

Mrs Mortimer said at Prime Minister’s questions on Wednesday: “The 40th anniversary of Katrice’s disappearance is coming up at the end of this month. It will undoubtedly be an exceptionally painful event for the entire Lee family. “Will the Prime Minister please agree to meet Mr Lee, father to father, and reassure him that Katrice has not been forgotten?’

Mr Johnson said: “I know that the thoughts of the whole House will be with Katrice Lee’s family.

“Of course I will agree to my honourable friend’s request and meet Mr Lee, father to father.”