Dad of missing toddler’s anger at review file delay

Richard Lee holding a photo of Katrice
Richard Lee holding a photo of Katrice

THE dad of a missing toddler has blasted police chiefs for keeping files secret that could unlock the key to his daughter’s disappearance.

Hartlepool man Richard Lee has branded the decision to not yet make public files that review the handling of the disappearance of his daughter Katrice, as “a conspiracy of silence”.

Royal Military Police (RMP) chiefs admitted last year that there had been failings into the original investigation into how Katrice vanished from a Naafi store in Paderborn, in Germany, on November 28, 1981, her second birthday.

South Wales Police carried out a review of the initial investigation in 2002 and Richard, now 64, says he is still to this day waiting to hear what the review uncovered.

But the RMP says publication of the review could affect the ongoing investigation into Katrice’s disappearance.

Richard, a former postman who was serving as a Sergeant Major with the British Army in Germany when Katrice vanished, said: “South Wales Police did a review in 2002 and said they would let us know their findings.

“But I have been told that the files have been handed back to the RMP.

“I can’t understand why this has happened, and for what reason.

“In my opinion, the releasing of the files should not affect anything to do with my daughter’s disappearance.

“What we are actually asking is ‘if you found fault, what where those faults?’

“I have got a sneaking feeling they are going to wash their hands of it, it stinks of a conspiracy of silence, we have never heard a thing.

“What have they got to hide?”

But a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence, on behalf of the RMP, said if the files form part of an investigation, they would not be published until the investigation comes to a conclusion.

South Wales Police did not comment.