German serial killer Martin Ney suspected of kidnapping and killing Jonathan Coulom in 2004 -
Jonathan Coulom, 10, was kidnapped in Saint-Brévin-les-Pins in April 2004. The boy's body was found the following May 19 in a pond in Guérande.
Fourteen years later, a German serial killer reportedly told his fellow inmate to have kidnapped and killed the child.
He was extradited to France last January and indicted.
The gendarmes launched on Tuesday a call for witnesses to collect evidence that he was in France at the time of the murder.
On the night of April 6 to 7, 2004, Jonathan Coulom, 10, was kidnapped in the middle of the night from a holiday center in Saint-Brévin-les-Pins, near Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique).
A few weeks later, his body was found, tied up and weighted with a cinder block in a pond near Guérande, 25 km away.
For fourteen years, a cell made up of gendarmes has tried to elucidate this murder.
They launched several calls for witnesses and explored many avenues which, for a long time, never came to fruition.
But the investigation saw a sudden acceleration in April 2018, after a German serial killer reportedly told his fellow inmate that he had killed the little boy, from the Cher.
Aged 50, Martin Ney was handed over to the French authorities last January.
He was indicted for "murder of a minor under 15 and the arrest, kidnapping and forcible confinement or arbitrary diversion of minors under 15".
Before being transferred to Nantes, the one that the German media nicknamed the “Schwartzman” (the black man) was imprisoned in Celle, in Lower Saxony (north-western Germany), where he was serving a prison sentence. life imprisonment for the murder of three boys and multiple sexual abuse.
Arrested in Hamburg in 2011, he admitted having killed Stephen Jahr in 1992, Dennis Rostel in 1995 and Dennis Klein 2001, children aged 8, 9 and 13.
A man of "imposing stature"
On the other hand, at the time of his arrest, he had denied being the murderer of the little Frenchman, whom his parents nicknamed "cowboy".
The gendarmes are looking for evidence that Martin Ney did stay in France, and in particular in Loire-Atlantique, between 1990 and 2011. This Tuesday, they therefore launched a new call for witnesses accompanied by three photos of this man of "stature imposing ”, measuring almost two meters.
Perhaps someone will remember having "rented or lent accommodation" to this former educator.
"It is about not missing an element that would confuse it", tells us a source close to the file.
Martin Ney would also have confided to his fellow prisoner to have lost in France a brown leather backpack, "having pockets as well as a lace on the top to close it".
To find him, the gendarmes grouped together in an investigation unit, called "disappearance 44", had also launched a call for witnesses in April 2018.
he investigators have studied many leads since Jonathan's disappearance in 2004. That of the German killer has been studied "from the start", explains Jonathan's mother's lawyer, Me Catherine Salsac.
While Martin Ney had not yet been arrested, “the German investigators had questioned their French counterparts on the similarities between the acts committed in Germany and those committed in Saint-Brévin”.
"Hope" for a trial
But at the time, the gendarmes still favored "the local track", continues Me Salsac.
Today, her client keeps "the hope" that the "real culprit" of Jonathan's murder will one day be tried before an assize court.
"She wants to know the truth, to know, even if it's horrible, what was done to her child," said the lawyer.
“She will never close the book but at least a chapter of this dramatic story.
Murder of little Jonathan: 14 years later, investigators looking for a backpack
Murder of little Jonathan: a German suspect extradited to France 17 years after the crime
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20 seconds of context
People with information can communicate it to the gendarmerie by sending an email to email@example.com or by sending a letter to Cellule Disparition 44- BP 33284 - 35032 RENNES CEDEX.
Call for witnesses