A MAN arrested over the disappearance of Brit toddler Katrice Lee who vanished 37 years ago has been released without charge.
Military police yesterday detained a suspect in Swindon, Wilts, over the disappearance of the two-year-old girl in 1981.
Innocent Katrice was feared snatched from a barracks shop on her second birthday in Paderborn, Germany where her soldier dad was based.
But the Ministry of Defence today confirmed: “A former serviceman was arrested by the Royal Military Police on Monday 23 September in connection with the disappearance of Katrice Lee.
“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.”
Katrice had been shopping for birthday tea treats with her mum Sharon at the Schloss Neuhaus NAAFI supermarket when she disappeared.
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.
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]
More to follow
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