The father of a missing girl is asking why her case isn’t being treated with the same level of urgency and attention as Madeleine McCann’s.
Richard Lee, whose daughter went missing in Germany nearly 37 years ago, has questioned why she hasn’t received the same level of attention compared to the high profile McCann case, which has cost the police £12 million – so far.
He wants to know why his daughter, Katrice, hasn’t had a ‘fair crack of the whip’ since disappearing from a Naafi supermarket, in November 1981.
According to the Mirror, Katrice disappeared on her second birthday, in the western city of Paderborn, where Richard was stationed as an Army sergeant.
The 68-year-old veteran still visits the banks of the River Alme, where his old Army base is situated, while the Royal Military Police still comb the area in search of clues which could lead to Katrice’s possible whereabouts.
I’m not in competition with the McCanns and would not want to be in competition with them.
But as far as I’m concerned, for the past 10 years I’ve been fighting to get a level playing field for all missing children.
No missing child’s case is more important than another and I don’t feel my daughter has been given a fair crack of the whip.
There are thousands of missing children in the UK, why do they not get the same attention as high-profile ones?
A senior officer in the investigation of Katrice’s disappearance said military police are on the lookout for her body and clothing.
Warrant Officer Class 1 Richard O’Leary says the team are digging the site after reviewing witness statements along with ‘other information’. They’re also seeking the opinion of forensic experts.
As part of the investigation, officers are trying to pin down 495 people who owned green cars in the Paderborn area.
The RMP released an electronic facial identification technique description (e-fit), of a man who was seen outside the shop where Katrice disappeared, holding the hand of a child who fitted her description.
The man in the e-fit was also spotted in a green saloon car – a vehicle matching its description was later seen at the banks of the River Alme.
Richard still holds out hope his daughter is alive and out there somewhere, saying:
I hope they find nothing in this dig, as it would confirm my belief Katrice was taken as a surrogate child and is living a lie somewhere today.
Mr Lee lambasted the RMP for their original handling of Katrice’s disappearance, claiming staff at the store were only approached for questioning six weeks after she went missing.
Someone made decisions without telling the family, from day one, that Katrice drowned in the river.
We haven’t been kept informed all along and I will never forgive the RMP, but that is not the fault of those now investigating the case.
While Warrant Officer O’Leary admitted the original ‘investigation was flawed’ and offered his sincere apologies, he says if Katrice had gone missing in 2018 the case would have been handled differently.
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