Europe 1 with AFP 9 a.m., February 6, 2023

A week after the disappearance in Brest of Héléna Cluyou, a 21-year-old student, a 36-year-old man is suspected: he would have partly confessed to his family having run over the young woman in the car.

"Only one hypothesis" for the Brest prosecutor.

The man could not be auditioned and is hospitalized for having tried to end his life.

The investigation into the disappearance of a 21-year-old student a week ago in Brest experienced an "acceleration", the prosecutor announced on Sunday, indicating that a suspect had mentioned "stupidity" and a " accident" before attempting suicide.

“The investigation has accelerated,” Brest prosecutor Camille Miansoni announced immediately at the start of the press conference.

Confirming information from the regional daily

Le Télégramme

, the magistrate said that a 36-year-old man from Brest had tried to end his life twice, Friday and Saturday, after confiding in relatives "having committed a stupidity, that his life was over" and that "it was an accident".

Suspect's vehicle burned

Héléna Cluyou, a young student nurse who should have celebrated her 21st birthday on February 1, has not given any sign of life since Sunday January 29 at 5:20 am, when she left One Club, a nightclub in the port of Brest.

She was still nowhere to be found a week after her disappearance.

A CCTV image, taken at 6:42 a.m., shows her walking down a street in Brest, between the nightclub and her grandparents' home where she lived.

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Was the young student knocked down by the suspect, who then hid her body?

“Regarding an accident, we are not yet certain. It is a hypothesis but only a hypothesis”, underlined the magistrate.

The suspect's vehicle was set on fire this week, with no bodies found inside.

It was the suspect's brother and his brother's girlfriend who alerted the investigators.

The couple had traveled from Tours to help the young man, alerted by his state of psychological distress.

In view of his confession, they accompanied him to the police station on Friday but the suspect could not be heard and had to be hospitalized.

“Case far from being elucidated”

"At that time, no link could be made between this accident and the disappearance" of Héléna Cluyou, according to Mr. Miansoni.

But on Saturday morning, "realizing that their statements had probably not been precise enough", the couple went to the gendarmerie brigade in Crozon (Finistère) to make the link between the two cases. 

The suspect repeated indeed "loop" that it was an "accident", according to their story.

When his brother asked him what accident it was, "at least once, he replied: you just have to see what we've been talking about in Brest for five days," said the prosecutor.

For a week, the disappearance of Héléna Cluyou has given rise to great emotion in the Breton city.

After hearing the couple, investigators from the judicial police (PJ) went to the hospital where they found the suspect "with a plastic bag on his head", after a second suicide attempt.

Hospitalized in intensive care, his days were in danger on Sunday evening.

Employed in the restoration, he has a clean criminal record.

"We now have indications which suggest" that this person "was involved in the facts of disappearance without it being possible to say in what way, with whom and in what circumstances", assured the prosecutor.

"We continue to work. The case is far from being elucidated", added the magistrate, inviting to "keep a certain distance" in this case.