Murdered French girl Maelys will ‘haunt’ killer, says mother on Facebook

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Jennifer de Araujo, mother of nine-year-old Maelys, who went missing from a wedding on August 27, addresses a press conference in Villeurbanne, eastern France, on September 28, 2017. Maelys de Araujo vanished in the early hours of Sunday, August 27, in the southeastern village of Pont-de-Beauvoisin, where she was attending a wedding with her parents. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF PACHOUD

The mother of a murdered French girl whose remains were found this week said her child would “haunt” the ex-soldier who has finally confessed to killing her after months of interrogation.

The case of Maelys de Araujo, who vanished in August while attending a wedding near Chambery in the Alps with her parents, has gripped France.

On Wednesday, chief suspect Nordahl Lelandais, 34, admitted to killing the eight-year-old child and led investigators to her remains after police found a trace of her blood in his black Audi car.

Lelandais, a former military dog-handler who is also charged with murdering a hitchhiking soldier last April, claimed he killed Maelys “by mistake” but has so far refused to give details of her death.

In a Facebook post late Wednesday, the child’s grief-stricken mother Jennifer Cleyet-Marrel called him a “murderer” and a “monster” and said he would be haunted by his deeds.

“I had to wait five-and-a-half months before this monster finally broke his silence,” she said, adding: “Maelys will haunt you night and day in prison until you die and go to hell.”

Relatives of the dead soldier, 24-year-old Arthur Noyer, said they too were hoping to learn the truth about his death.

Noyer was last seen in the early hours of April 12, 2017, hitchhiking in Chambery after leaving a nightclub. Parts of his skull were found on a hiking tail in Montmelian, near Chambery, in September.

Telephone records place Noyer and Lelandais in the same area at the same time on the night of the dead man’s disappearance.

The Noyer family’s lawyer Bernard Boulloud told France Info radio on Thursday he hoped Lelandais would “continue his confessions to the end”.

Investigators have also reopened a number of cases of people who vanished in the area between 2010 and 2016 to determine whether Lelandais played a part in their disappearance.

His lawyer Alain Jakubowicz denied his client, who was found to have carried out internet searches on the decomposition of the human body after Noyer’s disappearance, is a serial killer.

“There is not the slightest proof,” he said.

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