KATRICE Lee’s dad still believes she is alive “and living a lie” somewhere in Europe after a suspect arrested over her disappearance was released.
The British toddler was feared snatched from a barracks shop on her second birthday in Paderborn, Germany, where her soldier dad Richard was based.
A reconstruction of what Katrice Lee might look like if she was alive[/caption]
Richard Lee said he has never believed his daughter is dead and is convinced she is living in Europe somewhere[/caption]
Hopes of solving 37-year-old mystery were raised when Military Police detained a suspect in Swindon, Wilts, yesterday over her disappearance.
But the Ministry of Defence today confirmed he now been released without charge.
Former Sergeant Major Richard Lee, 69, of Hartlepool, told the Mirror: “I believe my daughter is still alive.
“In 1981 I never gave up then and I haven’t now. I never believed Katrice is dead.
“My daughter is living in Europe somewhere, living a lie, not knowing who she really is. Of course, I want answers, in November Katrice will be 40. It’s horrendous.”
The MoD said the search of an address in Swindon continues and the Royal Military Police are keeping the Lee family informed of developments.
Katrice had been shopping for birthday tea treats with her mum Sharon at the Schloss Neuhaus NAAFI supermarket when she disappeared in 1981.
While mum Sharon was paying for party treats she realised she had forgotten crisps, so asked Katrice’s aunt to watch the youngster while she went to get some.
My daughter is living in Europe somewhere, living a lie, not knowing who she really is
When she got back Sharon’s “lovely little child” was gone.
The heart rending mystery – which bore chilling similarities to BBC drama The Missing – has remained unsolved ever since.
In April last year The Sun revealed a major dig was to be carried out near to where the toddler was believed to have been snatched.
Over 100 soldiers guided by police and experts carried out a £100k five week long “forensic excavation” of banks of the River Alme, Paderborner Str, Paderborn.
A witness spotted a green car feared to be owned by tiny Katrice’s abductor near that spot the day after she disappeared.
But the dig was fruitless and the mystery endured.
Katrice’s anguished family, including Sharon dad Richard and big sister Natasha have never stopped hoping for answers that will end their heart ache.
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In April, Sharon told The Sun: “Nearly 37 years ago as a family we became members of an exclusive club that 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.
“And although I would like a fairy tale ending to our story, I fully appreciate that might not be.
“But at the end of the day we will have closure, and any emotions that come from that closure we will learn to live with and deal with as we have for the past nearly 37 years.”
Police officers swooped on an address in Moredon, Swindon, on Monday[/caption]
Mum Sharon said the toddler was gone in a matter of seconds[/caption]
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