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Arrest is made over the disappearance of British toddler Katrice Lee

A person has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of a British toddler who vanished in Germany in 1981.

Katrice Lee, from Hartlepool, disappeared from a supermarket near a British military base in Paderborn on her second birthday.

She was out shopping with her mother Sharon at the Naafi store, near to where her father Richard, a soldier, was stationed.

Military police reportedly began searching a terraced house in the Moredon area of Swindon on Monday.

An Army spokesman refused to give the gender or age of the arrested person, nor what they had been arrested on suspicion of.

 

Katrice Lee, (pictured) from Hartlepool, disappeared from a supermarket near a British military base in Paderborn on her second birthday

She was out shopping with her mother Sharon at the Naafi store, near to where her father Richard, a soldier, was stationed

She was out shopping with her mother Sharon at the Naafi store, near to where her father Richard, a soldier, was stationed

An MOD impression of what Katrice Lee could look like at the age of 38, issued last year

An MOD impression of what Katrice Lee could look like at the age of 38, issued last year

He said: ‘We can confirm that an arrest was made on 23 September by the Royal Military Police in connection with the disappearance of Katrice Lee in 1981.

‘As this is an ongoing investigation we cannot comment further at this stage.’

It is understood that Katrice’s family have been informed of the arrest.

Katrice went missing while shopping for treats for a birthday party from the British military supermarket.

Her mother realised in the checkout line that she had forgotten crisps and asked Katrice’s sister to watch her.

When she returned in what she has estimated was less than a minute, Katrice was gone.

Her sister said Katrice had run after her and she believed they were together. 

The case was reopened in 2000 after the original case went cold, and led to the arrest of a former soldier. 

But he was released without charge and the case closed again after three years. 

There were further inquiries in 2012 when Royal Military Police chiefs admitted mistakes were made during the initial investigation.  

In 2018, a section of an Arne river bank was excavated as part of renewed investigations in Katrice’s disappearance, but nothing was found.

The five-week, £100,000 military operation to try and find the body of missing Katrice Lee uncovered ‘nothing’, military police said at the time. 

Soldiers from the Royal Military Police carry out a forensic investigation in Paderborn, Germany

Soldiers from the Royal Military Police carry out a forensic investigation in Paderborn, Germany

Richard Lee, left, father of Katrice Lee, listens to a press conference given at the start of the five-week operation in 2018

Richard Lee, left, father of Katrice Lee, listens to a press conference given at the start of the five-week operation in 2018 

Katrice's mother Sharon, (pictured) who has split from Richard, said the toddler was 'gone in a matter of seconds'. She added: 'It's living a nightmare that you never wake up from'

Katrice’s mother Sharon, (pictured) who has split from Richard, said the toddler was ‘gone in a matter of seconds’. She added: ‘It’s living a nightmare that you never wake up from’

Richard Lee, the father of a missing toddler, had welcomed the search but said it should have been done years ago.

He said at the time: ‘We’ve just got to do this. I don’t want them to find anything, but honestly, I am struggling.

‘It’s a killer, absolutely a killer. It’s a return to my nightmare.’

He added: ‘I feel bitterly angry and will never forgive the RMP for what they’ve put my family through. I will fight for my daughter until the end.’

Katrice’s mother Sharon, who has split from Richard, said the toddler was ‘gone in a matter of seconds’. She added: ‘It’s living a nightmare that you never wake up from.

‘Nearly 37 years ago we became members of an exclusive club we didn’t ask for membership of — we became parents of a missing daughter. 

‘I would dearly love to be able to revoke that membership.’

Last year, the Ministry of Defense issued an impression of what Katrice might look like at the age of 38. 

Richard Lee, the father of a missing toddler, had welcomed the search but said it should have been done years ago. He said at the time: 'We've just got to do this. I don't want them to find anything, but honestly, I am struggling. It's a killer, absolutely a killer. It's a return to my nightmare.'

Richard Lee, the father of a missing toddler, had welcomed the search but said it should have been done years ago. He said at the time: ‘We’ve just got to do this. I don’t want them to find anything, but honestly, I am struggling. It’s a killer, absolutely a killer. It’s a return to my nightmare.’

Katrice went missing while shopping for treats for a birthday party from the British military supermarket

Katrice went missing while shopping for treats for a birthday party from the British military supermarket

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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