It has now been almost a week since two-and-a-half-year-old Émile disappeared from his grandparents’ home in the village of Haut-Vernet.
Investigators’ research to date has been unsuccessful. And little by little, doubt seems to be settling among the inhabitants of this hamlet about the boy’s family…
Could the disappearance of Émile, two and a half years old, be linked to disagreements within his family? For nearly a week, the little boy has been actively sought in the commune of Haut-Vernet, where his grandparents live, and its surroundings. But no clue or trace of the child has yet been found, and investigators are facing a sea of questions. If he had fallen somewhere, many believe that the gendarme dogs would have found him long ago. So what really happened to him? In Le Figaro of Friday, July 14, residents who found themselves at the only hotel-restaurant in the commune are looking for a tangible explanation.
“I know that there were some squabbles between the children…” timidly says René, a retiree. Would these family disputes have anything to do with Émile’s mysterious disappearance? Other residents can’t believe so much, “these people never made a fuss.” “Here we know them mainly because they sing in church,” one of them said of the boy’s relatives, who are otherwise described as “very believers.”
The attitude of Émile’s father interviewed
The family was always very present during the first days of the search. As reported by La Dépêche on July 13, the father of the little Émile was there. Colomban S., of his name, 26, was surrounded by volunteers and his attitude would have questioned some. Indeed, our colleagues shared the opinion of a volunteer who met him and was marked by his outfit, relatively chic despite the circumstances: “He was very well dressed, which surprised us a little. He was wearing a turtleneck, and city pants.” He went on to talk about the young dad’s behavior: “He was very authoritarian and quickly shouting down people who he didn’t think had the right attitude. It was a bit of a surprise to everyone.”
In Haut-Vernet, whose houses were searched from top to bottom by investigators, we would rather believe that the little boy has lost his way than imagine that an adult was involved in his disappearance. “In the morning, Émile had gone with his grandparents to the hut that his uncles built in the forest. Maybe he tried to join her alone?” suggests a resident interviewed by the newspaper from her balcony. But how to explain the complete absence of trace of the one who is still only a baby on the paths around the village? The national investigative cell that has been deployed in the last few hours will perhaps uncover a key clue…