Missing Katrice Lee’s family criticise military investigators

Katrice Lee's sister Natasha Lee, left, and mother Sharon Lee
Katrice Lee's sister Natasha Lee, left, and mother Sharon Lee

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THE sister of a girl who has been missing for nearly 35 years has hit out at military police reinvestigating the original flawed probe.

Katrice Lee vanished on her second birthday from a Naafi shop in Paderborn, Germany, on November 28, 1981.

Katrice Lee

Katrice Lee

Her father Richard Lee, now 66, was stationed there with the British Army.

Katrice’s sister Natasha, 41, of Gosport, said she is losing confidence in the reinvestigation by the Royal Military Police. She said a key witness in the Naafi at the time has still not been interviewed.

This probe, called Operation Bute, was sparked in 2012 when RMP chiefs admitted the initial investigation was flawed.

A civilian force has finished a review into the ongoing RMP investigation.

But Natasha said she feels military investigators could simply be going through the motions.

She said: ‘To me they will never close the case because we keep asking for the case files to be reviewed by an independent body.

‘I just don’t hold much hope in the investigation.

‘In the beginning I thought this was the third time, I’m going to give it my all. I was trying to think positively.

‘Then the small things, the flaws, start coming out.’

She added: ‘It makes me feel they’re not that bothered, they’re just going through the motions to make it look good.’

Her comments come after her father accused investigators of keeping the family in the dark about its findings.

He told the Hartlepool Mail he believes the military case has finished as the civilian force ended its own work.

He said: ‘All they have done is treat this as a sham. Every time I request records they come back with things like ‘whilst the investigation is ongoing’.

‘They say they are trying to be open and transparent. Well they have never been that with me.’

A MoD spokesman said: ‘This is an extremely distressing case and our thoughts remain with the family of Katrice Lee.

‘The RMP is reinvestigating and it would be inappropriate to comment further.’