Father of missing Katrice Lee search speaks out after dig in Germany ends

Royal Military Police started a forensic investigation in the case of missing Katrice Lee near the river Alme in Paderborn, Germany. AP Photo/Martin Meissner
Royal Military Police started a forensic investigation in the case of missing Katrice Lee near the river Alme in Paderborn, Germany. AP Photo/Martin Meissner

A forensic search in Germany for clues to the disappearance of toddler Katrice Lee has ended after almost five weeks.

Royal Military Police (RMP) investigators have been combing a river bank close to where she vanished on her second birthday in 1981 in Paderborn, Germany.

Richard Lee (68) with a photograph of his daughter Katrice aged 18months. Picture by FRANK REID

Richard Lee (68) with a photograph of his daughter Katrice aged 18months. Picture by FRANK REID

It has been reported that the RMP said in a statement the search did not result in any further information as to what may have happened to Katrice.

But Katrice’s dad Richie Lee, who lives in Hartlepool, says he does not believe the statement is completely accurate.

He is due to attend a press conference in Germany on Wednesday.

Richie said he could not elaborate on the result of the excavation at this time.

But he said if it is the case that no evidence of Katrice was there, it lends weight to the family’s theory that she was abducted and could well be alive and unaware of her true identity.

Katrice, who would now be 38, went missing from a NAAFI shopping complex while she was with her mother.

Richie, who was stationed in Germany with the British Army at the time, said: “I’m frustrated they have released this information.

“I thought we were going to wait until the press conference before this information about the dig was going to be released.

How Katrice Lee may look today at the age of 38.

How Katrice Lee may look today at the age of 38.

“The statement is not wholly accurate.”
He added: “I have always said from the start Katrice was abducted.

“I now view this as being the glass is half full, and then ask what other options have they got?

“The possibility of Katrice falling into the river has been ruled out by a water expert. The dark side of the story has been ruled out. What other theory have they got left.”

The dig focussed on the bank of the River Alme where a green saloon car, similar to one that a child matching Katrice’s description was seen getting in, was sighted the day after she went missing.

Richie visited the dig site himself four weeks ago.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “We thank the Royal Military Police and the soldiers that worked tirelessly on this five-week excavation and share the deep disappointment and frustration that the Lee family must feel.

“This is not the end of the investigation and efforts will continue.

“We continue to urge anyone who was in the Paderborn area at the time of the disappearance to contact the helpline – even the slightest detail could be of great help to the investigation.”

The Royal Military Police (RMP) reopened the investigation into Katrice’s disappearance in 2012.