Family’s fresh upset in search for missing Katrice

Richie Lee with a photo of daughter Katrice.
Richie Lee with a photo of daughter Katrice.

An investigation is underway after a woman changed her Facebook profile to that of missing Katrice Lee.

Katrice disappeared on her second birthday in Padeborn, Germany, in 1981, where her dad Richie Lee from Hartlepool was stationed with the British Army.

Katrice’s family say they have been caused fresh heartache after the woman changed her Facebook account using Katrice’s name and sent Katrice’s sister Natasha a friend request.

The family have reported it to three separate police forces including Cleveland Police who Richie has spoken to.

They say the woman used family photos without their permission and failed to go through the correct channels if she believes she is Katrice.

Richie said: “This individual assumed the identity of Katrice and changed her name to Katrice on Facebook which in itself is upsetting.

“We’re absolutely appalled that she has done this to the family.

“Can you imagine your sister has been missing for 37 years and you see a friend request on Facebook, you open it and you see a picture of your sister asking to be your friend?

“What my family can’t get over is there are platforms in place. If she thought she was Katrice she should have used those channels which is the Royal Military Police investigation Operation BUTE.

“I will take this matter as far as I can take it.

“I have had a visit off Cleveland Police and they have taken information.”

The request came from a Facebook profile with Katrice’s name and a profile photo of Richie holding Natasha. The banner photo showed mum Sharon, Katrice and Natasha together.

Richie said he was informed on Thursday by Operation BUTE that the woman has agreed to take a DNA test.

It comes after investigators spent five weeks in May digging for clues near a river in Germany. Nothing relating to Katrice was found.

Anyone with information can contact Operation BUTE investigators on 0800 616888 or email SIBRMP-OpBute-Mailbox@mod.uk