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Emile: Clothes belonging to a boy missing in the French Alps since July found – a few days after the discovery of the remains


The cause of death of a two-year-old child who went missing in the French Alps in July remains unexplained, despite the discovery of his bones and clothes.

Last week, forensic tests showed that a skull found by a walker near Le Vernet in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence belonged to the boy, said Emile.

Some of his clothes – including a T-shirt, shoes and shorts – have now been found near where the remains were discovered, according to the AFP news agency.

Photo of a missing French boy - Emile released by the French police Pic:Gendarmerie nationale
Photo: National Gendarmerie

But prosecutor Jean-Luc Blanchon said the evidence found so far “does not indicate what the cause of Emile’s death was.”

“Between fall, homicide and murder, no hypothesis can be favored over another to explain the death,” he added.

Some marks were found on the skull, which Mr Blanchon said could have been caused by animals after his death.

Emile’s clothes have not yet been examined.

The little boy was last seen by two witnesses walking on a street near his grandparents’ house on July 8 of last year, according to authorities at the time.

He had arrived in the region the day before to spend the summer holidays with his maternal grandparents in a remote mountain village just outside Le Vernet.

They realized that Emile was missing when they went to put him in the car, local mayor François Balique said at the time.

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When last seen, Emile was less than 3 feet tall and wearing a yellow T-shirt and white shorts.

Massive ground searches involving dozens of police and soldiers – supported by sniffer dogs, a helicopter and drones – failed to find him, as did a reconstruction in which his family participated.

A prosecutor said after several days that it was unlikely such a young child would have survived the summer heat.

The case, which began as a missing person investigation, quickly evolved into a criminal investigation into a possible kidnapping, although police have not ruled out murder, an accident or a fall.


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