Forensic excavation in search for missing Katrice Lee


Royal Military Police to excavate area of land in Paderborn as part of investigation after the Army appeals to members of the public and military community to come forward if they know anything about Katrice’s disappearance from a NAAFI in Paderborn in November 1981.

Today it was announced that as part of the investigation into the disappearance of two-year-old Katrice Lee 36 years ago, the Royal Military Police (RMP) will conduct a major forensic search on the bank of the River Alme at Paderborner Str, Paderborn, Germany, starting this week.

Katrice went missing from the Schloss Neuhaus NAAFI, near the military base where her father was stationed with the British Army. She disappeared on 28 November 1981, her second birthday, while out shopping with her mother. Wide-scale searches of the area were conducted by the RMP, German Police, British troops and volunteers but Katrice was never found.

The RMP reopened the investigation into Katrice’s disappearance in 2012. As part of this investigation they reanalysed evidence gathered during the original investigation, which has identified the bank of the River Alme at Paderborner Str, as being of particular interest.

Senior Investigating Officer Warrant Officer Class 1 Richard O’Leary of the RMP said: “On this basis, a team of military personnel and civilian forensic experts will be carrying out a detailed excavation of the site, which is expected to last approximately five weeks. The aim of the search is to find evidence that could finally shed light on what happened to Katrice.”

If you know anything that may help the RMP with their investigation you can contact the Op BUTE team on the following numbers:

  • UK Helpline telephone: 0800 616888
  • Germany Helpline telephone: 0800 184 2222

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