Body of Maelys de Araujo, 9, found five months after she vanished from wedding in France

THE remains of a nine-year-old girl who vanished last August in the French Alps have been found, prosecutors say.

An ex-solider, 34-year-old Nordahl Lelandais, has admitted killing Maëlys de Araujo "involuntarily".

He agreed to co-operate with the investigation after a trace of her blood was found in his car.

Today he told investigators that at he killed her accidentally, hid the body and then returned to the wedding party before eventually dumping the body in the ravine.

The prosecutor said Lelandais did not explain the circumstances of the girl's death.

Maëlys went missing during a wedding in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, north of Grenoble.




Lelandais had also been a guest at the wedding.

He was arrested back in September after Cops were told he had been spotted "thoroughly cleaning his car" hours after the girl vanished.

At the time a source close to the investigation said he had "admitted that Maely was in his car with a little boy, looking for his dog", but denies kidnap.

He was thought to have driven her away in the early hours of Sunday August 27, leaving her parents and sister at a party in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, some 25 miles west of Chambery.

A statement released by prosecutors in nearby Grenoble today said the suspect had been charged with the "arrest, kidnapping, abduction, and arbitrary detention of a minor under fifteen years old".

Sources close to the investigation said Lelandais began "cooperating" in the search for Maelys's body after he requested to speak to magistrates.

His change of heart was thought to be after a trace of Maelys's blood was found in the boot of his car, according to a source who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity.

The unmarried suspect from the village of Domessin, 30 kilometres from Chambery, was also charged in December over the killing of a hitchhiking soldier in April.

Following her disappearance locals flooded the woodland around the area in a desperate attempt to locate the missing child.


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