To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

French authorities give heartbreaking update on missing two-year-old after clothes found ‘almost 500ft’ from toddler’s body

French authorities give heartbreaking update on missing two-year-old after clothes found ‘almost 500ft’ from toddler’s body

There's been another update in the tragic case

French authorities have given a heartbreaking update on the missing two-year-old boy after clothes were found 'almost 500ft' from the toddler’s body.

Émile Soleil, who was aged two and a half, went missing last summer (July 8 2023) while staying with his grandparents in an Alpine village.

The little boy was less than 3ft tall and was wearing a yellow T-shirt and white shorts when he was last seen by two neighbours walking alone on a street in Le Vernet, which was about 1,200 metres up in the French Alps.

Émile Soleil, aged two and a half, went missing last summer (July 8 2023).
Gendarmerie Nationale

Over the weekend, French police were informed of the 'discovery of bones' near the hamlet, prosecutor Jean-Luc Blachon said.

Blachon, who is leading the criminal investigation, said: "On Saturday, the police were informed of the discovery of bones near the hamlet of Le Vernet."

He went on to confirm that genetic testing on the bones showed they were Émile's remains.

The bones - which are understood to include a skull and some teeth - were found by a hiker, who handed them in to the police.

While the prosecutor, at this point in time, did not give a cause of death, he did reveal that forensic investigators were continuing to analyse the bones.

"The police is deploying means to carry out additional searches in the area where they were found," he said.

The latest update in the tragic case sees French authorities confirming that Émile's clothes were found 150 metres (492ft) away from his remains, Blachon said on Tuesday (2 April).

He added that the toddler's 't-shirt, pants and shoes' were 'not gathered in the same place, but scattered over a few metres'.

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.

There had been no trace of Émile since his disappearance, with investigators making sure not to rule out any theory for the heartbreaking tragedy, including abduction and murder.

Gendarmerie Nationale

Émile's parents, Marie and Colomban Soleil, previously released a statement on Easter Sunday via their lawyer, Jerome Triomphe.

It reads: "This heartbreaking news was feared… (They) know on this Resurrection Sunday that Émile watches over them in the light and tenderness of God.

"Marie and Colomban would like to thank all those who helped and supported them as well as the investigating judges and investigators for their work, their professionalism, their personal commitment and their humanity which were of great comfort to them, in recent months and in particular on this day… But the pain and sorrow remain."

The statement added: "The time has come for mourning, contemplation and prayer."

Full timeline of Émile Soleil's disappearance

8 July 2023 - Émile vanishes

Two-year-old Émile Soleil is staying with his grandparents in the remote hamlet of Haut-Vernet in the French Alps.

On 8 July, he is seen by his maternal grandparents playing in the garden, as they host a family reunion.

He is later seen by two neighbours walking by himself on a street in La Vernet, 2km away, wearing a yellow t-shirt, white shorts and hiking shoes.

His grandparents call the police around 5.15pm when they realise he isn’t at the house.

9-13 July 2023 - Huge search launched

Police, soldiers and volunteers scour 1,200 acres searching for Émile in a huge search utilising drones and helicopters.

His mother’s voice is played ‘as loud as possible’ from speakers in aircraft over the search area.

The search officially ends on 13 July, though the investigation continues.

Émile disappeared almost nine months ago.

November 2023 - Émile’s mother makes public appeal

On what would have been Émile’s third birthday, his mother makes a public appeal.

If he is alive, she pleads for his safe return, and if not she asks for his body to be handed back for burial.

28 March 2024 - Police reconstruct last sighting of Émile

Investigators summon 17 people, including Émile’s family members, back to Haut-Vernet to reconstruct his last known movements.

30 March 2024 - Émile’s partial remains discovered

Some of Émile’s skull bones are discovered by a hiker more than 1km from Haut-Vernet.

The following day, police confirm the DNA matches Émile’s.

His parents say in a statement: “This heart-breaking news was feared, and the time has come for mourning, contemplation and prayer.”

His cause of death remains a mystery.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Featured Image Credit: Gendarmerie Nationale/TF1

Topics: News, World News, Crime, Travel