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Missing Toddler's Family Meet Defence Secretary

Katrice Lee was just two-years-old when she vanished without trace in 1981...

The family of a toddler who went missing from a Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI) shop in Germany more than 36 years ago have been meeting the Defence Secretary.

Last November, Gavin Williamson promised a review into the case of two-year-old Katrice Lee, who vanished without trace in the town of Schloss Neuhaus in 1981.

Katrice's disappearance occurred on her second birthday.

Near the entrance to Paderborn's main NAAFI supermarket, she became separated from her mother and aunt.

In minutes they raised the alarm.

However, despite a search, no trace was ever found.

A fast-flowing river runs close by and police initially assumed a tragic accident had taken place rather than a crime.

Katrice Lee 2017 computer image
A computer image of how 38-year-old Katrice might look now. Picture: MoD

Her family insist the water-shy child would never have gone near the steep sloping bank, and her parents were reassured at the time that all was being done to find their daughter.

Over the years since they have grown angry at gaps in the military police-led investigation, with Katrice's father, a former Army Sergeant Major, describing them as "keystone cops".

Katrice's father Richard Lee: "Let's be open, let's be honest, and let's show some backbone and tell me the truth."

In recent years, the family has demanded access to case files to explain why the theory of a possible abduction was so discounted.

The case was last reopened in 2000, with a suspect caught and later released through lack of evidence.

Last year, the Royal Military Police released a photofit of a man they believe could be key to finding the toddler.

Katrice Lee Man E-Fit
An eyewitness saw a man who looked like this carrying a child into a green saloon car at the time of Katrice's disappearance

This afternoon, Katrice's father Richard Lee met with Mr Williamson, who has pledged in the House of Commons to review the case.

Mr Lee’s local Hartlepool MP, Mike Hill, was also be there, along with Katrice's mother and her local MP.

More: Brothers On Both Fields - Remembering Rugby Through The World Wars

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