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French authorities give heartbreaking update on boy, two, who went missing

French authorities give heartbreaking update on boy, two, who went missing

Émile Soleil's remains and clothes were discovered nearby where he went missing

French police have today given a heartbreaking update on the tragic death of French two-year-old Émile Soleil - who went missing last summer - after his clothes and bones were discovered half a mile from the toddler's family home.

While staying with his grandparents in an Alpine village, Émile was last seen by two neighbours on 8 July 2023, walking alone on a street in Le Vernet - about 1,200 metres up in the French Alps.

Following an large-scale search for the tot - which involved police, soldiers and volunteers scouring 1,200 acres using drones and helicopters while playing his mother’s voice from speakers - human remains were tragically found last month.

The bones - which are understood to include a skull and some teeth - were found by a hiker, who handed them in to the police, where genetic testing subsequently showed they belonged to the tot.

In the days that followed their initial discovery, a collection of clothes were also discovered 'almost 500ft' from where the toddler’s remains were found.

Émile disappeared last summer.
Gendarmerie Nationale

According to the lead prosecutor, wild animals may have been responsible for dispersing the toddler's remains, as well as the 'small fractures' and 'bite marks' found on his skull.

At this point, authorities are unable to determine whether the toddler's death was an accident or murder.

Prosecutor Jean-Luc Blanchon previously told press that 'murder or manslaughter' was not to be ruled out, despite a fall potentially having damaged Émile's skull in this way.

And this week, there was another twist to the mystery of his heartbreaking death

The toddler's remains and clothes were found near where he disappeared.

Another of Émile's bones has been found in another location, a close distance to where the majority of his remains and clothes were discovered.

Haut-Vernet's mayor told Le Figaro after hikers initially discovered the toddler's skull that authorities would be scouring the site with a 'toothcomb'.

And now, according to La Parisien, investigators have stumbled across another bone fragment during their final excavation, which could potentially determine the toddler's cause of death.

Speaking following the stomach-churning discovery, however, Mayor François Balique confessed he couldn't understand why the remains hadn't been found sooner.

Émile was missing for eight months.

"There are people who regularly use the path nearby," he told press. "I used it last week. The volunteer searchers have been there, I'm sure.

"I was there during the beatings [on the ground by those searching for Émile] and the gendarmes couldn't have missed him with the dogs. There was even a logging there in the Autumn. The wood cutters didn't see anything either. It's incomprehensible."

Mayor Balique even went on to state his innate belief that the child was murdered.

"I can't help but believe that an adult is involved in this matter. Émile would never have gone alone to where he was found," he added.

Featured Image Credit: Gendarmerie Nationale/NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP / NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images

Topics: Crime, World News, News