Tragic update on case of Émile Soleil as two-year-old’s clothes found 500ft from remains in Alpine village

Tragic update on case of Émile Soleil as two-year-old’s clothes found 500ft from remains in Alpine village

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CLOTHES belonging to two-year-old Émile Soleil have been found almost 500ft from his body, a French prosecutor has revealed.

The disturbing new detail in the tragic case of the missing French tot who died mysteriously in the Alps emerged on Tuesday night.

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Little Émile Soleil Soleil vanished in the French Alpine hamlet of Le Vernet last July[/caption]

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A walker discovered the two-year-old’s remains on Saturday[/caption]

AFP

Aix-en-Provence prosecutor Jean-Luc Blachon addresses a press conference at Aix-en-Provence court house on Tuesday[/caption]

Little Émile’s skull and bones were found on Saturday close to the isolated family home from where he went missing in July.

Cops discovered his clothes 150 metres (492ft) away from his remains, the Aix-en-Provence prosecutor Jean-Luc Blachon said on Tuesday.

The prosecutor, who is leading the criminal investigation into Émile’s death, said the toddler’s “t-shirt, pants and shoes” were “not gathered in the same place, but scattered over a few metres”.

Wild animals may have been responsible for dispersing his remains and for the “small fractures” and “bite marks” found on his skull, according to Mr Blachon.

It is not yet known how Émile died, although the prosecutor said a fall may have damaged the tot’s skull.

He added that theories including “murder or manslaughter” have not been ruled out, and that an “examination of the bones does not allow us to give the cause of Émile’s death”.

The toddler was also missing a tooth.

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A walker discovered the tot’s remains over the weekend almost nine months after he vanished from his grandparents’ remote family home in the south of France.

She stumbled across them in an extremely steep area between noon and 2pm on Saturday, about a 25-minute walk from the hamlet of Haut-Vernet, near Grenoble.

The unnamed woman was walking on a path that she remembered having walked a month prior, Mr Blachon said.


The prosecutor added: “She was disturbed by this discovery, and placed [the skull and bones] in a plastic bag.

“She went home and called the police. She was able to pinpoint exactly where she found it [the skull].

Cops launched a frantic search in the village of Le Vernet in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence in July last year when he went missing.

The tot was officially in the care of his grandfather Philippe Vedovini, 58, the day he disappeared.

Mr Blachon said the area where Émile’s remains were found on Saturday had been searched previously, “but not using drones or specialised dogs“.

I cannot say that every square metre was searched


Jean-Luc BlachonAix-en-Provence prosecutor

He said on Tuesday: “At this time, we cannot say whether Emile’s body was already in the searched area. I cannot say that every square metre was searched.

“The topography there is difficult with steep slopes making observation and excavation difficult.

“It was also very hot in July 2023, with temperatures of more than 30C in the shade. which could have affected the effectiveness of the tracking dogs and infrared cameras.”

Émile’s family – who were all at Easter Sunday mass when they learned the toddler’s remains had been found – are yet to comment on the latest discovery.

Mr Vedovini is a devout Catholic and a monk who, it was revealed earlier this month, was investigated as part of an active criminal inquiry into historic child abuse and implicated as an “assisted witness”.

Brother Philippe, as he was formerly known, trained to be a monk while working at a school linked with sexual abuse, including rape, in the early 1990s.

He denies any wrongdoing.

Timeline of the search for Emile

July 8, 2023 – Emile Soleil vanishes from his grandparents’ home in a small village near Le Vernet in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

July 8 to 14, 2023 – Police lead a huge search that uncovers no trace of the toddler

July 14, 2023 – Cops call off the search and the investigation goes cold

March 30, 2024 – A walker finds bones near to the village that Emile disappeared from

March 31, 2024 – Investigators confirm the remains belong to the missing French two-year-old and a renewed criminal probe begins

April 2, 2024 – Aix-en-Provence prosecutor Jean-Luc Blachon says Emile’s clothes were found 150 metres (492ft) from his remains

Mr Vedovini and his wife, Anne Vedovini, raised 10 children, including Émile’s mother, who is now known by her married name: Marie Soleil.

The extreme-right wing political background of the family has also been examined by police.

Émile’s father, Colomban Soleil, 26, was arrested for “an attack on foreigners” in 2018, and released from custody after pledging to maintain the peace.

At the time, Mr Soleil was an activist linked to Action Francaise, the far-Right nationalist and royalist group, as well as the neofascist Bastion Social.

In 2021, both Mr Soleil and his wife Marie, Émile’s mother, stood as local election candidates in the Marseille area, supporting the Reconquest party of Éric Zemmour – the convicted racist and Islamophobe who tried to become president of France.

Lead prosecutor Rémy Avon, who is heading the judicial inquiry into Émile’s disappearance said the possibilities that Émile had been murdered, kidnapped, or got involved in an accident were all being looked at.

He said that Émile’s parents’ home in the southern town of La Bouilladisse, near Marseille, was searched back in July, while the grandparents’ home nearby, and in the Alps, were also raided.

AFP

Émile’s parents were ‘heartbroken’ by the discovery of their son’s remains[/caption]

AFP

Residents have refered to Vernet as the ‘village of the damned’[/caption]

Rex

A resident of Vernet is interviewed about the tragic outcome of the tot’s disappearance[/caption]

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