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French police hunt for missing girl who vanished at a wedding

Wednesday - 30/08/2017 12:17
FRENCH police widened their search on Wednesday for a 9-year-old girl who disappeared during a wedding in the Alps, combing wooded slopes and streams and questioning more potential witnesses.
A photo taken on August 28, 2017 shows an appeal for witnesses poster for Maelys, a 9-year-old girl who disappeared during a wedding party on August 26 overnight in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, eastern France. Picture: AFP.
A photo taken on August 28, 2017 shows an appeal for witnesses poster for Maelys, a 9-year-old girl who disappeared during a wedding party on August 26 overnight in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, eastern France. Picture: AFP.

A photo and description of the girl has been posted and tweeted across France since her weekend disappearance, and the local prosecutor opened a kidnapping investigation. The girl has been publicly identified only by her first name, Maelys.

The owner of a bar attaches a missing poster issued by the Gendarmerie of Pont-de-Beauvoisin for Maelys, a 9-year-old girl, who disappeared during a wedding party. Picture: AFP.
The owner of a bar attaches a missing poster issued by the Gendarmerie of Pont-de-Beauvoisin for Maelys, a 9-year-old girl, who disappeared during a wedding party. Picture: AFP.Source:AFP

The national gendarme service said reinforcements were sent in and some 150 police and volunteers divided up Wednesday morning to broaden their search around the town of Pont-de Beauvoisin. Divers, spelunkers, search dogs and helicopters also took part in the search.

“We are not losing hope to find some trace,” gendarme official Jean Pertue told reporters at the scene, in comments shown on BFM television. Broadcast images showed police carefully poking under dense bushes on the slopes of the area, west of Chambery.

Police are questioning some 250 people, including everyone at the wedding as well as at two other parties in town Saturday night, when she was last seen, according to Le Parisian newspaper.

French gendarmes search through a forest in Pont-de-Beauvoisin on August 30, 2017 after the disappearance of a 9-year-old girl. Picture: AFP.
French gendarmes search through a forest in Pont-de-Beauvoisin on August 30, 2017 after the disappearance of a 9-year-old girl. Picture: AFP.Source:AFP

Neighbours’ homes were searched, and many local officials and members of the community are taking part in the search, according to a town hall official. Local Prosecutor Dietlind Baudoin told reporters that investigators are doubtful that she ran away but are studying multiple possibilities.

The girl disappeared early on Sunday morning, according to the prosecutor. Three police dogs found her trace but lost it at a spot a few meters from the hall where the wedding was held, suggesting she got in a car at that point, according to French news reports quoting regional police.

Source: News Corp Australia Network:

 Key: France

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