Investigators fear that 'someone may have brought back remains of French boy Émile to his remote Alpine village'

1 April 2024, 12:06 | Updated: 1 April 2024, 12:08

The remains of French boy Émile, who vanished eight months ago, have been found close to his Alpine village
The remains of French boy Émile, who vanished eight months ago, have been found close to his Alpine village. Picture: Handout/Getty

By Kit Heren

A chilling theory has emerged after the remains of a missing French boy Émile Soleil who vanished eight months ago were found near his village in the Alps.

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Passers-by found the bones of Émile, two, close to where the young boy suddenly went missing last year.

Investigators had been unsure about what had happened to him.

His remains were found near his village of Le Vernet in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, around 100 metres from his home.

The local mayor said that the village had already been thoroughly searched - raising the possibility that the remains had been moved back.

Read More: Missing French boy Emile may have been ‘hit by combine harvester while walking in long grass,’ police fear

Read More: Search for Emile to end: French police to stop hunting for boy missing from ‘cursed’ hamlet but will 'evaluate evidence'

Émile Soleil
Émile Soleil. Picture: Handout

This could represent a very disturbing turn in the case, a source close to the investigation told the Mail.

It suggests that "a person brought Emile's remains back, and potentially very recently".

There is also some confusion as to why only some of the remains have been found.

A source said: "The deceased’s teeth have all been recovered too, but some other elements of the body are gone.

French Gendarmes discuss on the road to the French southern Alps tiny village of Le Haut-Vernet, in Le Vernet on March 31, 2024, after French investigators have found the "bones" of a toddler who went missing last summer
French Gendarmes discuss on the road to the French southern Alps tiny village of Le Haut-Vernet, in Le Vernet on March 31, 2024, after French investigators have found the "bones" of a toddler who went missing last summer. Picture: Getty

"Drones and sniffer dogs are combing the entire area of countryside to try and find more.

"It may be that body parts were taken away by wild animals, but no theory is being ruled out.

Le Vernet
Le Vernet. Picture: Getty

An investigation into Emile's disappearance was launched last July after he went missing from the village

According to police, "genetic analysis indentified" Émile's bones.

They said "additional research" will now take place in the area where he was found.

At the time he went missing, police ruled out a wild animal attack after searches of houses in the village did not lead to any discovery.

Police also investigated the possibility that he may have been hit by an agricultural machine while walking in long grass.

Residents of the village began describing it as ‘cursed’ after a series of tragedies.

In March 2015 150 people died in a plane crash near the hamlet, and fifteen years ago the village cafe manager was murdered by a customer.

One resident said: “Vernet feels like a village of the damned.”

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