• On December 8, 1986, Martine Escadeillas, a 24-year-old young woman, disappeared from her home in Ramonville-Saint-Agne, south of Toulouse.

    Only bloody traces were found by the gendarmes.

  • Friday, the trial of his alleged murderer, arrested more than thirty years after the facts, opened before the assizes of Haute-Garonne.

  • On the third day of his trial, Joël Bourgeon, friend of the victim and his companion at the time, again proclaimed his innocence, indicating that his 2019 confession had been made under pressure from investigators.

“I did not kill Martine Escadeillas”.

On the third day of his trial, Joël Bourgeon, denied at the bar of the Haute-Garonne Assize Court that he was the author of the murder of Martine Escadeillas, a 24-year-old young woman who disappeared in 1986 in Ramonville-Saint- Agne, near Toulouse, and whose body has never been found.

This Tuesday, the one who was arrested more than three decades after the facts, repeated that he was innocent.

According to this former friend of the young, and his companion with whom he played football, the confessions he had made in 2019 after his arrest were dictated by the gendarmes.

He retracted a week later.

Under the effect of "pressure", "stress", "fear", "I broke down and made a confession" during police custody, he explained during the hearing.

“In a psychologically lamentable state”

A version that those close to Martine Escadeillas do not believe.

No more than their lawyer, Frédéric David, or the Advocate General Nicolas Ruff and the President who do not hide their skepticism about these "pressures" invoked by the accused.

“Police custody that goes badly exists,” noted Mr. David, before adding that everything seems to indicate that that, filmed, of the accused was not part of it.

Refusing to speak of "manipulation", Joël Bourgeon believes that his remarks of 2019 were "subtly suggested to him", while "confused" by the investigators, he was "in a psychologically lamentable state".

To the "serious and concordant bundle" of clues put forward by the investigators, as well as his rapid departure from the Toulouse conurbation, the accused responded.

He assured "to have been present with the family" of the young woman the day after her disappearance on December 8, 1986, to have "participated in the research" also to try to find her.

He denies having had the keys to the apartment of the couple formed by Martine Escadeillas and Thierry Milicevic, who then shared his life.

The victim's body has still not been found.

At the supposed time of the murder, he admits that he had "taken a break" but at his place of work.

He also denies having fled to Lyons at the beginning of 1987. Referring to the payslips of his Toulouse employer, he indicates that he left months later and that he continued "to take news from Thierry", including after his departure to Lyon.

The family of the disappeared would like for their part “to know where Martine's body is.

We have to be able to mourn, to give him a decent burial, ”said one of his sisters, Nicole Saint-Blancat, at the bar.

“I completely understand their pain for thirty-six years.

If I had committed this murder, I would have had the decency to say where the body is,” explained Joël Bourgeon.

Jacques Rançon again in front of the assizes


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  • Toulouse

  • Cold box

  • Murder

  • Court case

  • Occitania

  • Justice