Missing Katrice Lee's Gosport sister says Boris Johnson must 'stick to his word' and meet her father

THE sister of a toddler who went missing 40 years ago has said Boris Johnson must ‘stick to his word’ after promising to meet her dad ‘father to father’.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 11:26 am
Katrice Lee

Gosport-based Natasha Walker’s sister Katrice Lee was two when she vanished at a supermarket near where her father was stationed in the Army in Paderborn, Germany, nearly 40 years ago on November 28, 1981.

Her case has in recent years been re-investigated by the Royal Military Police but officers last December scaled back the probe saying they would only react to new lines of enquiry.

Yesterday in the House of Commons the prime minister promised to meet Katrice’s Hartlepool-based father Richard Lee, 71.

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Katrice Lee and her sister Natasha Walker

Today Natasha, 47, told The News Mr Johnson must see his commitment through after his predecessor David Cameron failed to make good on a similar promise.

Natasha, who wants to be at the meeting, said: ‘I hope he sticks to his word. I will believe it when I see it.

‘This has been promised before and it never happened.

‘It’s about time that Katrice’s case was taken seriously and is heard.’

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Family members say there were failings in the immediate search and subsequent investigations – and want answers from the Ministry of Defence.

Natasha wants a civilian force to look at the case.

‘I want someone else to look at Katrice’s case other than just the military who have no authority over civilians,’ she said.

For years Natasha has been plagued by online trolls pretending to be Katrice, including in September being sent a friend request on Facebook by someone with a mocked-up profile using her sister’s photo.

Natasha said: ‘I also want better support for victims of crime and the law to be made stronger and sentences harsher for all the people who think it’s perfectly acceptable to troll families of the missing.

‘If we were famous I am sure a lot more prison sentences would have been issued.’

Mr Johnson made the commitment in response to a request from Hartlepool MP Jill Mortimer at prime minister’s questions.

She said: ‘The 40th anniversary of Katrice’s disappearance is coming up at the end of this month. It will undoubtedly be an exceptionally painful event for the entire Lee family. Will the Prime Minister please agree to meet Mr Lee, father to father, and reassure him that Katrice has not been forgotten?’

Mr Johnson said: ‘I know that the thoughts of the whole House will be with Katrice Lee’s family.

‘Of course I will agree to my honourable friend’s request and meet Mr Lee, father to father.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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