Body found on Lanzarote was Margaret Holt from Wirral

Margaret Holt
Image caption Margaret Holt was an experienced hiker

The body found on the Spanish island of Lanzarote is that of a missing Merseyside woman, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

Retired IT worker Margaret Holt, 65, of Spital, Wirral, disappeared during a walking holiday on the island on 23 December 2011.

Her son Ben Riley said he "expected but dreaded" the news that the body found on 29 May was his mother.

The Foreign Office said it was offering consular assistance to the family.

Mr Riley, 36, from Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester wrote on a Facebook page dedicated to Ms Holt: "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 grand daughter, Aoife, who would have melted her heart."

Mr Riley has previously talked of his torment at not knowing what happened to his mother.

"It makes it so much harder not knowing what has happened to her.

"It would be so much easier to cope if there was a conclusion."

Image caption Margaret Holt's son Ben Riley said his mother had real fight and enthusiasm for life

Mrs Holt, an experienced hiker, left her hotel in the resort of Costa Teguise on the morning of 23 December 2011.

She was last spotted in Orzola, to the north of the island, on a coastal path later the same day.

She was reported missing three days later.

When she failed to return, an extensive search began involving helicopters, sea rescue teams, and police dogs, as well as the island's hiking groups and hang-gliding enthusiasts.

Mr Riley spent more than two weeks searching the island and made an appeal for information on Spanish TV before returning home.

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