Esther Dingley latest: Cops examining reflection in Brit hiker’s sunglasses in last Insta photos in disappearance probe

COPS searching for missing hiker Esther Dingley are to examine her Instagram photos to unravel the 24 hours before she disappeared.

Image experts will even closely study the reflections in the adventurous Brit's mirrored sunglasses in a bid to determine her movements.

Esther, 37, posted a picture of herself on November 21 from the top of the 2,700m Pic Sauvergarde which straddles the French and Spanish border in the Pyrenees.

But her boyfriend Dan Colegate received it the following day and it was the last time she was in contact with him and an extensive ten day search for her has failed to find any trace.

The last picture Esther is thought to have taken was posted by the French mountain rescue service on their Facebook.

It shows her at the summit with a solar panel and a telecommunications mast on the peak reflected in her sunglasses.

It is slightly different to the one she posted the previous day, as in the ''last picture''.

A source said: ''There are subtle differences in the two photographs. The one she took on November 21 is different to the last one the following day.

Cops are now ploughing through her social media pics for clues to her movements

''In the last photo the solar panels are reflected in her sunglasses and it is taken later in the day as the shadow is higher on the slope.

''That would suggest she went up to the Pic Sauvegarde two times – which leads to the question why go up to the same spot twice in 24 hours ?''

Police in Spain and France have launched an investigation into her disappearance and initial suggestions the area has a poor phone signal have been ruled out because of the mast.

Earlier this week Dan, 38, himself revealed communications were good.

He told BBC Breakfast :''Now I’ve since been in the area and found that the signal is actually quite good in a lot of the places she might have been… if she had had an accident and that was the reason she couldn’t have been in touch it must have been in a very very small area indeed."

He added that area "has been poured over by people, drones, helicopter, dogs, um, yep, so that’s why I, I’m I’m convinced that she isn’t up there.''

Yesterday French and Spanish authorities continued to use dogs and helicopters to scour the area for Esther, who is originally from Durham but found no trace.

Earlier today it was reported there were fears Esther may have been killed by a bear.

The 37-year-old posted a Facebook snap of what appeared to be a large paw print in snow five days before she disappeared.

She asked: “Can anyone let me know if this might have been bear prints?”

Meanwhile, the hunt continued for a man who gave her a lift three days before she was reported missing on November 25.

On November 19 , she said on Facebook how bad weather had forced her to change her plans and she accepted a lift from a fellow hiker to head back down to the valley where her camper van was parked.

She wrote: ''I had the option of staying at a great cabin, even had a mattress, but it was only 2pm or going down with my fellow hiker and getting a lift.

“He'd take me further up the valley so I could continue my planned tour to another refuge or back to the camper…''

The man is believed to have dropped Esther off at Benasque on the Spanish side where her van has been found by police who are examining it.

An investigative source in Spain said: ''This man would have had conversations with her and may know what she planned.

“They may have arranged to meet and hike another route. It is imperative that we find him.''

Mobile phone signals were believed to hold the key to Esther’s disappearance as police began looking at options “beyond an accident.”

Exhaustive searches of mountain trails in the Pyrenees between France and Spain have found no trace of the hiker who was last heard from 12 days ago.

And rescue teams backed by drones, helicopters and dogs have now told her distraught partner they are now convinced she is not on the mountain.

Authorities in France and Spain now believe experienced lone hiker Esther may have gone – or been taken – somewhere else.

Oxford graduate Esther, originally from Durham, started walking from Benasque on November 21 but all trace of her was lost at 4pm the following day after she sent a smiling selfie from a peak.

Her phone will have continued to send signals to mobile network masts if switched on, revealing her approximate location unless it was deactivated, broken, or taken from her.

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