Missing Katrice Lee: Ex-serviceman released without charge as searches continue

An ex-serviceman who was arrested in connection with the disappearance of Hartlepool girl Katrice Lee has been released without charge.

Wednesday, 25th September 2019, 12:46 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th September 2019, 5:04 pm
Katrice Lee, who went missing on her second birthday.

The two-year-old went missing 38 years ago from a military base in West Germany while on a shopping trip to a NAAFI supermarket near to where her dad Richie was based as a soldier with the British Army.

It said: "A former serviceman was arrested by the Royal Military Police on Monday, September 23, in connection with the disappearance of Katrice Lee.

Specialist teams use ground penetrating radar to search a garden of a house in the Moredon area of Swindon in connection with the disappearance of Katrice Lee, a British toddler who disappeared from a supermarket near a British military base in Paderborn, Germany, on November 28 in 1981, her second birthday. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 25, 2019. Her father Richard has said the arrest of a person in connection with her disappearance 38 years ago has made it "feel raw". She was out shopping with her mother Sharon at the Naafi store, near to where her father Richard, a soldier, was stationed. See PA story POLICE Katrice. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

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"He has now been released without charge.

“The search of an address in Swindon continues and the Royal Military Police are keeping the Lee family informed of developments."

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Missing Katrice Lee: Hartlepool dad says arrest is 'totally unexpected'

Katrice disappeared from a supermarket near the British base in Paderborn on November 28 in 1981, her second birthday.

A man enters a house in the Moredon area of Swindon, during a search in connection with the disappearance of Katrice Lee. Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Wire.

She was out shopping with her mother Sharon, aunt Wendy and was with her sister when her mother left her for just a minute at the checkout.

Searches were made near the base last year, but failed to find anything.

Today, searches are continuing at a terraced house in Abbey View Road in the Moredon area of Swindon after they were launched on Monday.

A blue and white tent was erected in the garden earlier today.

Richard Lee, centre, father of Katrice Lee, talks to the media beside Warrant officer Richard O'Leary, right, about a forensic investigation by the Royal Military Police near the river Alme in Paderborn, Germany, in May last year, following on from excavations as part of the inquiry into her disappearance. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Four unmarked white vans were near the property on Wednesday, with officers in black uniforms seen entering and leaving through two doors at the front of the house.

There was also police tape across the drive, where a red Suzuki Alto was parked.

Specialist teams have also been seen using ground-penetrating radar to search a garden.

One woman from the area, who did not wish to be named, said: "It's quite concerning.

"Loads of vehicles and police turned up on Monday lunchtime but they wouldn't say what they were doing.

"They searched the cars on the drive and took one of them away. This is a nice area - you don't expect anything like this."