A 34-year old man has been charged and remanded in custody over the disappearance of a nine-year-old girl during a wedding in the Alps, say prosecutors.
Maelys de Araujo was last seen in the early hours of Sunday August 27 at a community hall where the wedding was held in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, a village some 30 miles north of Grenoble.
Police technical and forensic teams found DNA evidence and were trying to determine whether the missing girl had been in the suspect’s car, said a source close to the investigation.
The DNA was found on the dashboard of the suspect’s Audi, reported regional newspaper Le Dauphiné libéré.
The vehicle had previously caught the attention of investigators, as the owner had washed it after the wedding, he said in order to sell it.
Sniffer dogs lost the scent from Maelys’s cuddly toy in a car park outside the venue, raising fears she was kidnapped and whisked away by car.
She has not been found despite intense searches in the heavily wooded area where the wedding took place.
Grenoble’s prosecutor said that the suspect has been charged with “kidnapping, illegal confinement or arbitrary detention of a minor of less than 15 years” following a police probe.
He was at the wedding during which the little girl – who was attending the event with her parents – went missing, the statement said.
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SOURCE: The Telegraph, Henry Samuel