Italian police officers, illustration. - Gabriel Bouys AFP

It is a mystery that worries Italy: where has little Gioele gone? The country lives the summer to the rhythm of a sad news item, the disappearance for ten days in Sicily of a four-year-old child and his mother. The latter was finally found dead last weekend.

Viviana Parisi, 43-year-old DJ, and her son Gioele (the equivalent of Joël in French) disappeared on the morning of August 3, according to the Italian press, which chronicles the case almost every day.

Oggi su Rep: 👇 Anche cani e droni per cercare Gioele, la zia: "Troppi ritardi" [di GIORGIO RUTA]

- Repubblica (@repubblica) August 10, 2020

"All the hypotheses are open, from the accident to the extreme gesture"

They were seen one last time on the side of the Palermo-Messina motorway (northern Sicily), after a minor collision in a tunnel. Viviana was found dead on August 8 in a nearby forest, near the town of Caronia. His body lay at the foot of a high voltage pylon, but to this day no trace of the child, still missing.

"All the hypotheses are open, from the accident to the extreme gesture," said prosecutor Angelo Cavallo, in charge of the kidnapping investigation, while searches to find the toddler continue in the region.

"Homicide, kidnapping, accident: all the scenarios considered", headlined the daily Corriere Della Sera, showing photos of the woman with long blond locks, all smiles behind the decks, hanging on the neck of her husband, also a DJ, or her little boy in his arms.

🔴 Oggi sapremo cosa è successo a Viviana. Sul piccolo Gioele, invece, the ipotesi sono ancora tre

- Corriere della Sera (@Corriere) August 11, 2020

Viviana's body had several fractures of unknown origin

According to the doctor who autopsied the body, Viviana "probably died where her body was found". The corpse did not show any visible wounds, bullet marks, or stab wounds. It was not clear from her state of decomposition whether she had been strangled.

The body had several fractures of unknown origin, notably in the arm, some media said. It could be a blow of the shovel, a banal fall on the sidewalk or from a pylon or a cliff, said the coroner. Samples of soil on site were taken: "to study the insects that have colonized the body, because the insects speak and tell the hour of death".

Viviana and Gioele disappeared after she told her husband to go buy shoes in a nearby town. She wasn't seen anywhere that morning, but her gray Opel Corsa on the other hand was pictured on the highway. These blurry images do not make it possible to clearly distinguish the passengers and to be sure that the child, apparently attached to his baby seat, is alive, according to the Italian press. Shortly after her accident, the woman stopped her vehicle on the roadside, crossed the guardrail to enter the bush of Caronia. Two witnesses say they saw her then with her child in their arms. Toys and a backpack were found in the car.

The husband evokes "a form of depression which worsened during confinement"

For a week now, the Italian press has been lost in conjectures about the possible scenarios, in particular on these "last 22 minutes" at the edge of the motorway where the drama was undoubtedly tied: a murder-suicide where the forty-something, who took apparently antidepressants, would have killed his child, burying him or leaving him somewhere before killing himself.

Parents and friends, however, speak of a loving mother, "unable to give Gioele even a slap". Another possibility: the murder of Viviana in the forest and then the kidnapping of the child, which would leave hope that he is still alive. Two days after his wife and son had evaporated, Daniele Mondello, Gioele's father, launched an appeal on Facebook. “Come home Viviana, it was just a small accident. We are waiting for you with open arms. I love you, ”he tried crying.

Thursday, in his first interview since the confirmation of Viviana's death, Daniele, an electronic music composer to the little local celebrity in Sicily, told Corriere Della Sera "to have seen them leave quiet that morning, without worry, without dispute ".

“She was calm, although she had had a few problems the past few months. She had had a form of depression which worsened during confinement. But it was never aggressive, on the contrary, ”explained the husband. “I don't think she was killed, but I don't even want to imagine suicide. Perhaps an accident, she climbs (on the pylon), loses her balance, falls ... "


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