clear
Wednesday August 15th, 2018 10:50AM

Frenchman admits killing girl who vanished from Alps wedding

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

PARIS (AP) — A former military dog trainer confessed Wednesday to "unintentionally" killing a 9-year-old girl whose disappearance from a wedding party in the Alps last year prompted nationwide concern and months of fruitless searching.

Investigators at last found Maelys De Araujo's skull and some other remains Wednesday in a snow-covered ravine six months after she went missing, according to Grenoble Prosecutor Jean-Yves Coquillat.

Police were led to the remote site by chief suspect Nordahl Lelandais, who was arrested and charged after her disappearance but repeatedly had denied wrongdoing. He was a guest at the same wedding in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, near the French mountain city of Chambery.

Lelandais decided to come clean Wednesday after investigators found traces of the girl's blood in the trunk of Lelandais' car, the prosecutor told reporters.

Lelandais told investigators that he killed her accidentally, hid the body near his house and then returned to the wedding party. He later dumped the child's body in the remote ravine.

His lawyer said Lelandais had let children at the wedding party look at dogs he had in his car.

After Maelys went missing, police questioned more than 200 potential witnesses, and hundreds of volunteers helped search the area for days. Police dogs found the girl's scent but lost it in the wedding hall parking lot, suggesting she may have been forced into a vehicle or gotten into one voluntarily.

In his confession, Lelandais did not explain the circumstances of the girl's death, the prosecutor said.

"Lelandais asked investigation judges to question him today, because he had revelations to make," the prosecutor said. Afterward, the prosecutor said, Lelandais apologized to the girl and her parents.

His lawyer Alain Jakubowicz described surprise at hearing Lelandais' confession of Maelys' "accidental death," but did not give further details about what happened. The lawyer said he was dropping his request for Lelandais' release.

"I'm a father. Nothing worse can happen to you as a parent," he said, choking up.

Lelandais is also now suspected of killing a soldier months before in the same region.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP World News
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Stocks climb as investors shake off inflation worries
U.S. stocks are rising Wednesday, led by banks, technology companies and retailers and other confused-focused companies
1:16PM ( 7 minutes ago )
FAA takes more responsive tack in Phoenix after noise ruling
Last year's court win by Phoenix and neighborhood groups over the Federal Aviation Administration has prompted the agency to be more responsive to residents as it continues to beat back noise complaints over its "NextGen" air traffic modernization plan.
12:57PM ( 26 minutes ago )
$30 billion pledged in Kuwait at summit to rebuild Iraq
International donors have pledged $30 billion to help rebuild Iraq after the war against the Islamic State group
12:50PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Talks to restore Northern Ireland government break down
The leader of Northern Ireland's biggest political party says talks to restore the collapsed government in Belfast have failed
12:25PM ( 58 minutes ago )
Trump presses Senate to adopt his immigration priorities
President Donald Trump is sending a message to the Senate on immigration: Pass a bill based on his priorities
12:07PM ( 1 hour ago )
Germany pushes for release of journalist in Turkish prison
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has called for a fair and speedy trial of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel who was arrested exactly one year ago in Istanbul
11:57AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
Stocks climb as investors shake off inflation worries
U.S. stocks are rising Wednesday, led by banks, technology companies and retailers and other confused-focused companies
1:16PM ( 7 minutes ago )
FAA takes more responsive tack in Phoenix after noise ruling
Last year's court win by Phoenix and neighborhood groups over the Federal Aviation Administration has prompted the agency to be more responsive to residents as it continues to beat back noise complaints over its "NextGen" air traffic modernization plan.
12:57PM ( 26 minutes ago )
$30 billion pledged in Kuwait at summit to rebuild Iraq
International donors have pledged $30 billion to help rebuild Iraq after the war against the Islamic State group
12:50PM ( 33 minutes ago )
AP sources: Mitt Romney to launch Senate campaign Thursday
AP sources: Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is running for the Senate in Utah
12:42PM ( 41 minutes ago )
Watchdog's report faults VA chief over Europe trip expenses
An internal watchdog's investigation has found that Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin improperly accepted Wimbledon tennis tickets and likely wrongly used taxpayer money to cover his wife's airfare for an 11-day European trip
12:42PM ( 42 minutes ago )