Will new elements come to fill the missing boxes of the puzzle?

New excavations began Monday in Issancourt-et-Rumel, in the Ardennes, to find the body of Estelle Mouzin, alleged victim of serial killer Michel Fourniret in 2003, AFP journalists found on Monday.

This first day of research took place in the presence of Monique Olivier, the ex-wife of Michel Fourniret, extracted from the prison where she is serving a 28-year security measure for complicity in four of the murders of "the ogre of Ardennes ”.

Eighth research campaign

The research campaign, which will last "several days" according to Me Corinne Hermann, who defends Estelle's family, is the eighth carried out in the Ardennes since June 2020. The scope of the research, closed since the morning, "is growing ", While" a lot of means "are implemented, including an excavator as well as dog teams, including one from Belgium, noted the lawyer.

The examining magistrate, Sabine Kheris, "and the courts are putting all means to find Estelle", "we are full of hope", she added.

A new section of the explored area

The communal wood of Issancourt-et-Rumel, a village of 400 inhabitants near the Belgian border, has already been explored twice by investigators, on the basis of indications provided by Monique Olivier. It is on a new section, until then not exploited, that the research must concentrate, according to a source close to the investigation. The plot concerned is "a clear forest of oaks and beeches" located north of the previous areas excavated, told AFP Ghislain Debaiffe, mayor of Issancourt-et-Rumel.

Estelle Mouzin had disappeared at the age of nine in Guermantes (Seine-et-Marne), on the evening of January 9, 2003, when she was returning from school.

For many years, the investigation went from dead ends to dead ends, despite the relentless efforts of Estelle's father, Eric Mouzin, determined to find the trace of his daughter, whose childish face, hair freely tied and the neck framed by a red sweater, is known to all French people.

Monique Olivier had for the first time recognized in April a role in the kidnapping of the child.

She had specified that she had accompanied Michel Fourniret to the edge of the woods to let him go and bury the body.

The village of Issancourt-et-Rumel is located 4 km from Ville-sur-Lumes where, still according to Monique Olivier, Michel Fourniret kidnapped, raped and killed Estelle, in a house belonging to his sister.

The child's partial DNA was found in two places on a mattress seized in 2003 from this house.

Sentenced to life imprisonment for the murders of seven young women or adolescent girls between 1987 and 2001, Michel Fourniret finally confessed in March 2020 his responsibility in the disappearance of Estelle Mouzin, a case in which he had been indicted.

He died at 79 in Paris on May 10.

Justice

Disappearance of Estelle Mouzin: The body of the girl still untraceable, the situation "begins to tighten"

Justice

Death of Michel Fourniret: Ongoing investigations, Mouzin trial and DNA research… The outstanding questions

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