Hiker who found two-year-old’s skull recalls ‘terrifying’ journey carrying it home | World News

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A hiker who found the remains of a missing two-year-old has recalled carrying his skull home under her arm “because feeling it touching my skin terrified me”.

The woman, who goes by the name of Manon in a new interview, found the skull of a toddler known as Emile during a walk near Le Vernet in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France, in March.

Manon told French broadcaster BFM TV that she goes for a walk without a mobile phone every day and was on a route she hadn’t taken “for a long time” when she made the discovery.

The skull was “white” and “completely clean”, she said, with only the top teeth in place.

“I could have left it, but if I returned it might not have been there,” she told French broadcaster BFM TV. “Because of that I picked it up, I know that on windy days like this, if you wait, the mountain isn’t the same anymore.”

Manon made sure she had a point of reference in order to show police where she made the discovery and noted a nearby tree collapsed on its side.

“I was running, I wanted to rush,” she said of her journey home. “I said to myself, ‘quickly, quickly, quickly – I have to pick up this thing and the police are going to find the culprit… the investigation is finally going to move on’.

“The whole journey, I carried this thing under my arm because feeling it touching my skin terrified me.”

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Bringing the skull into her home was “inconceivable”, Manon said – so she called the police who came to collect it.

“Everything went well, they were doing their job,” she said. “I answered their questions and that was it.”

Manon has not gone for a walk since.

Genetic testing confirmed her suspicion that the skull belonged to the two-year-old, whose disappearance was well-publicised last year.

Missing French boy pic -  Emile released by French police
Pic:Gendarmerie nationale
https://twitter.com/Gendarmerie/status/1678072484392845315
Image:
An appeal issued at the time of the boy’s disappearance. Pic: Gendarmerie Nationale

Marks found on the skull could have been caused by animals after the boy died, prosecutor Jean-Luc Blachon said last week. The cause of death is yet to be identified.

Following the discovery of the bones, some of Emile’s clothes – including a T-shirt, shoes and shorts – were found close by, it was previously reported.

The two-year-old went missing in the French Alps last summer. He was last seen walking down a street near his grandparents’ house on 8 July.

He was staying with his maternal grandparents in a remote mountain village just outside Le Vernet for the holidays.

They realised Emile was gone when they went to put him in the car, the local mayor said at the time.

After beginning as a missing person investigation, the case soon became a criminal inquiry into a possible abduction, although police did not rule out murder, an accident or a fall.

Read original article here.

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