Remains belonging to little French boy Émile Soleil who vanished without trace eight months ago are found in the Alps


Remains belonging to a little French boy who vanished without a trace eight months ago have been discovered in the Alps. 

Ramblers discovered the bones of two-year-old Émile Soleil close to the isolated family home from here he went missing last year.

The macabre discovery on Saturday was today described as a key breakthrough in a criminal enquiry that has baffled detectives since they launched a frantic search back on July 8.

The mysterious case has drawn comparisons with hit BBC drama The Missing, in which a young boy vanishes while on holiday with his Family in France

A statement released by public prosecutors in Aix-en-Provence on Sunday said ‘genetic analysis identifies’ the bones as belonging to Èmile.

It added that ‘criminalistic analysis’ was also underway, and that gendarmes were carrying out ‘additional research’ in the area where they were found.

Ramblers discovered the remains of two-year-old Émile Soleil (pictured) close to the isolated family home from here he went missing in July last year

Ramblers discovered the remains of two-year-old Émile Soleil (pictured) close to the isolated family home from here he went missing in July last year

Gendarmes meticulously search the outskirts of the village of Vernet last July

Gendarmes meticulously search the outskirts of the village of Vernet last July

The search site is two miles as the crow flies from the house in Haut-Vernet, a hamlet south of Grenoble, where Émile was last seen with his grandfather, Philippe Vedovini, 58.

There had been no trace of Émile since, with investigators refusing to rule out any theory for the tragedy, including abduction and murder.

Émile was officially in the care of Mr Vedovini on the day of his disappearance, as his parents took a break.

A witness saw Mr Vedovini, a physiotherapist-osteopath, cutting wood outside his house around the time Émile is thought to have wandered off.

There was no immediate comment about the discovery of the bones from Émile’s family, who were all at Easter Sunday mass when told.

Mr Vedovini is a devout Catholic who gave up a vocation to become a monk, in order to marry his wife, Anne Vedovini.

They brought up 10 children, including Émile’s mother, who is now known by her married name of Marie Soleil after she married Émile’s father, Colomban Soleil, 26.

A countryside search for Émile was carried out after the little boy disappeared, but it yielded nothing.

Lead prosecutor Rémy Avon, who is heading the judicial enquiry into Émile’s disappearance said the possibilities that Émile had been murdered, kidnapped, or got involved in an accident were all being looked at.

The macabre discovery on Saturday was today described as a key breakthrough in a criminal enquiry that has baffled detectives

The macabre discovery on Saturday was today described as a key breakthrough in a criminal enquiry that has baffled detectives 

Volunteers take part in a search operation for Emile on July 10

Volunteers take part in a search operation for Emile on July 10

He confirmed that Émile’s parents’ home, in the southern town of La Bouilladisse, near Marseille, was searched back in July, while the grandparents homes nearby, and in the Alps, were also raided.

The saga evokes the BBC series, The Missing, in which a young boy vanishes whilst on holiday with his family in France, only to be killed in a hit-and-run accident after chasing a fox.

Émile’s family had called on people to pray to Benoîte Rencurel – a French shepherd said to have seen apparitions of the Virgin Mary from 1664 to 1718.

Residents of Vernet meanwhile referred to the place as a cursed ‘village of the damned’ because of its links with disaster.

In March 2015, Vernet was also cordoned off following a horrific air crash in which 150 people died, including two babies.

Germanwings Airbus A320 was deliberately brought down by co-pilot Andres Lubitz, who had previously been treated for suicidal tendencies.

French gendarmes take part in the search operation for two-year-old Emile in July 2023

French gendarmes take part in the search operation for two-year-old Emile in July 2023

Volunteers take part in the search operation for Emile on July 10

Volunteers take part in the search operation for Emile on July 10

Two gendarmes meticulously search the surroundings of a house on July 13 2023

Two gendarmes meticulously search the surroundings of a house on July 13 2023

This was an appeal for witnesses after the little boy went missing

This was an appeal for witnesses after the little boy went missing  

Many Vernet residents took part in high mountain searches for possible survivors at the time.

They also opened their homes to family and friends of those who perished in the disaster.

The inhabitants of Vernet were also shaken by the murder of a local café manager in the village 15 years ago.

Jeannette Grosos, who ran the Café du Moulin, was brutally killed by a customer in 2008.

Mayor François Balique said: ‘It was a real drama for the whole village – one which it has had a hard time recovering.’

One resident of Vernat said: ‘Everybody is saying it – Vernet feels like a village of the damned.’



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *