A close friend of missing Brit Esther Dingley broke down in tears yesterday as police probed human remains near the spot where the hiker was last seen.
Christine Millership was aghast at the Pyrenees find which authorities said could take weeks to identify.
She met Esther, 37, and her partner Dan Colegate, 38, while they were on their campervan travels.
Christine wept: Its 50-50 isnt it? Its 50-50. If it is Esther they all stop searching and we know. If it isnt weve still got hope but its so difficult.
In a way I hope it is her because, though I hope shes found alive, I think even deeper that shes not. I just want closure for Dan.
"Im worried about him because hes got to live with all this. In the first part [after she went missing] he was like a zombie, he grew his beard and would hardly talk to anybody.
Detectives are analysing bones possibly including a skull spotted by a mountain runner on the Puerto de la Glera pass.
It is on the French side of the border near the Pico Salvaguardia summit, where Durham-born Esther last made contact with Dan on November 22.
She had gone on a solo trek.
The charity LBT Global, which has been supporting relatives, is seeking information urgently.
British expat Christine, 67, became friends with Esther and Dan when they passed through San Jose, southern Spain, in 2016.
They bonded over a shared love of animals and Esther and Dan visited Christine and husband Harry, 66, for months each year most recently in March 2020.
Christine added: Esther was very spiritual and would write very long emails. We were very close. She would say that there was 30 years between us but it was like we were twins.
French police commander Jean-Marc Bordinaro said: The bones must be properly analysed. We will not have a result for several days, possibly not for several weeks.
In a dossier revealed by the Sunday Mirror in January, Dan said the Puerto de Glera pass was well within Esthers capabilities.
And he questioned the theory that she had an accident only last weekend, when he paid tribute to his partner of 20 years ahead of his 39th birthday.
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