Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credits: JEFF PACHOUD / AFP 19:02 p.m., September 21, 2023

The prosecutor's office of Saint-Denis de La Réunion said Thursday that two minors had been placed in custody after a young girl was found dead Wednesday in Saint-Pierre in the south of the island, five days after her disappearance. The two minors have "admitted to being the perpetrators of the crime," said the prosecutor's office.

Two minors were taken into custody after a young girl was found dead Wednesday in Saint-Pierre, in the south of the island of Reunion, five days after her disappearance, we learned Thursday from the prosecutor's office. The 16-year-old victim had been missing since Saturday. She had left her father's home in Saint-Denis, in the north of the island, to go to a friend's house in Saint-Louis, in the south.

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The two minors "admitted to being the perpetrators of the crime"

After the report of the disappearance, investigators from the territorial service of the judicial police (STPJ) "were able to identify the person with whom she had an appointment," said Carole Pantalacci, acting prosecutor of Saint-Pierre, in a statement. "This young girl, a minor of 14 years old, admitted to having participated with one of her friends, aged 16, in the murder of the missing girl," adds the magistrate.

The two minors were taken into custody at the Saint-Pierre police station. "They explained the course of events and admitted to being the perpetrators of the crime," said the prosecutor's office. The body was found by police in a disused sugar factory. The first conclusions of the forensic doctor confirm the violence suffered by the victim, says the prosecutor without specifying the nature of this violence.

Great excitement in Reunion Island

Investigations and hearings are continuing in order to "determine and deepen" the circumstances in which the crime was committed, according to the prosecutor's office. The events have caused a stir in the large French island in the Indian Ocean, where two such cases have occurred in recent years. In April 2022, a 14-year-old girl was seriously injured in the head in Saint-Pierre. A minor had been remanded in custody for attempted murder. Two others had been for complicity.

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In May 2019, an 18-year-old man tried to trap one of his classmates to abuse her in a disused warehouse in Sainte-Marie, in the north of Reunion. Beaten with an iron bar, the girl had managed to escape. Tried for attempted murder and rape in November 2022, he was acquitted on the first charge, and sentenced to seven years in prison for the second.