The family of a missing girl not seen since she vanished 40 years ago have renewed a heartfelt appeal for information, saying: “Someone knows the answers which will unlock us from this pain.”
Natasha Walker, the older sister of Katrice Lee, said living without her sibling was “the hardest thing to do”, and urged anyone with information to come forward.
Katrice has not been seen since November 28 1981, her second birthday.
She was on a shopping trip with her family at a supermarket near the British Army base in Paderborn, Germany, where her father Richard Lee was serving, when she disappeared.
Successive appeals have failed to yield any information about Katrice’s whereabouts.
Speaking on the anniversary of her disappearance, Ms Walker, 47, said: “Never did I think that, in 40 years, I would still be looking for my missing sister, that I would still be waiting for news, for answers.
“Living without knowing is the hardest thing to do. Wondering if she is alive and well, or if something terrible happened to her, is relentless.
“All we can do is to live in hope that someone reading this knows something and will come forward.”
She added: “Someone knows the answers which will unlock us from this pain we are having to carry.
“I urge anyone, who knows anything, to please get in touch.
“Please help us to bring her home.
“Katrice, if you are reading this, we love you.”
A section of a river bank near where Katrice was last seen was excavated in 2018 as part of renewed investigations, but nothing was discovered.
In 2019, a woman was handed a suspended jail sentence after setting up a Facebook profile impersonating Katrice.
Military police also arrested a man in connection with the disappearance and began searching a terraced house in Swindon, Wiltshire. The man was later released without charge.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to a request from Jill Mortimer, the Conservative MP for Hartlepool, to meet her constituent, Mr Lee, and discuss the case “father to father”.
Katrice was last seen wearing a blue duffle coat with a green fur hood, a green and blue pinafore dress, red wellies, and a white blouse with a blue collar and cuffs.
Anyone with information can text missing people’s helpline on 116 000 or +44208 392 4545 for overseas callers, or email email@example.com.