Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Lanzarote body 'is missing Briton'

British pensioner Margaret Holt went missing in Lanzarote in December 2011

A body found in Lanzarote has been confirmed as that of a British pensioner who went missing on the island nearly 18 months ago.

Margaret Holt, 65, from the Wirral, Merseyside, was seen leaving her hotel in the resort of Costa Teguise on the morning of December 23, 2011.

The experienced walker, who was feared to have fallen, was spotted later in the afternoon in the northerly Orzola region of the island - but then disappeared.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokesman said: "We were made aware on 13 June that the death of Margaret Holt, who was reported missing on 26 December 2011, had been confirmed. We are providing consular assistance to the family at this difficult time."

Mrs Holt, who was described as extremely fit, was reported missing after her worried family contacted the Spanish Civil Guard to raise the alarm when she failed to make contact with them over Christmas.

A search and rescue operation was launched by authorities on the island, but was stood down after 72 hours. Local expatriates and other residents organised their own searches for the missing pensioner.

Mrs Holt's body was found at the end of last month.

Mrs Holt's son, Ben Riley, said that the news was what he and his family had "expected and dreaded at the same time".

Writing on the Facebook page set up after she went missing, he said: "I know there was very little doubt and this was expected but what a sad sad day. I, as will many others, will really miss her. She had real fight and enthusiasm for life, such that I have never seen in anybody, of any age. Such a shame that she didn't get to finish all her life plans and meet her wonderful granddaughter, Aoife, who would have melted her heart."

Others paid tribute to Mrs Holt on the site, with Sue Almond writing: "So sad always to lose someone but she was doing what she loved in a beautiful place."

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