Maelys de Araujo: Remains of French nine-year-old girl who disappeared from wedding last August found


The remains of a nine-year-old who disappeared from a wedding celebration in the French Alps have been found, authorities said.

Jean-Yves Coquillat said investigators found some of Maelys De Araujo‘s remains in a snow-covered ravine, six months after she went missing. 

The Grenoble prosecutor said Nordahl Lelandais, a 34-year-old man, told investigatorshe killed her “involuntarily,” hid the body and then returned to the wedding party before eventually dumping the body in the ravine. 

Her disappearance prompted nationwide concern.


French police launched a massive search through forests in Pont-de-Beauvoisin in the French Alps (PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)

Lelandais had been a guest at the wedding on 27 August in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, near the mountain city of Chambery. 

The prosecutor said Lelandais did not explain the circumstances of the girl’s death.


Divers of the French gendarmerie searched for evidence in a pond near Pont-de-Beauvoisin (PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images)

A former army dog handler, Lelandais had already been charged in her disappearance. 

Maelys went missing at some point after 3am on 27 August. She was at the wedding with her parents and her older sister and was last seen in a play room in the village hall in Pont-de-Beauvoisin.

After she disappeared, around 100 officers, including divers and dog handlers, launched a massive search of the nearby area, trawling through dense woodland and a river.

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