Tom Swarbrick 4pm - 6pm
'Car with blood on front' found in same Alps village where two-year-old French boy Emile went missing
12 July 2023, 18:37 | Updated: 13 July 2023, 00:43
A car with blood traces on the front has been found in the same tiny French village where a toddler went missing four days ago.
Officers investigating the disappearance of Emile, the missing child, have removed the car to work out if it could be linked to his disappearance.
Emile, who lives near Marseille with his parents, was on holiday with his grandparents in Le Vernet in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence when he went missing.
"At the moment we don't even know if it's human blood," a source close to the investigation said.
"It might be a very old trace too, so everybody is being very cautious about the find," they told the Mail.
It comes after French officials admitted on Wednesday that no progress has been made on the continuing probe since Sunday - but stressed that all investigative tools are being used to find the tot.
French public prosecutor Rémy Avon earlier told the press: "At the moment we have no clue, no information, no element that can help us understand this disappearance".
"We are at the same point as the day before yesterday after receiving the two testimonies", Mr Avon said.
"We are really pushing the investigations on the ground as much as we can," he added.
More than 800 gendarmes, firefighters, volunteers, helicopters, thermic camera drones, and sniffer dogs have been utilised in the search so far, but police have admitted that they need to consider other possibilities.
"Either the body was concealed after an accident, or it was removed", a gendarmerie spokesperson said, adding that sniffer dogs would have found a body in the region by now.
Emile's parents house has also been searched. Officers said they were looking into the family's background.
Meanwhile it's understood there were at least ten relatives staying at the property in the village where Emile disappeared.
A police source said: "A family reunion was taking place, with several uncles and aunts of the child, of all ages, including some minors. Émile was seen on Saturday morning, along with other children."
Mr Avon also told reporters: "Medically we are told that beyond a period of 48 hours, given the young age of the child, given his constitution', and the possibility that he will be deprived of water and food with the current heat, the vital prognosis is very very committed".