In Case of Missing French Girl, Man Charged With Kidnapping

Maelys de Araujo's DNA was allegedly found in suspect's car
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2017 3:03 AM CDT
Updated Sep 4, 2017 6:33 AM CDT
Man Charged with Kidnapping in Case of Missing French Girl
Hundreds of volunteers spent the weekend searching for the missing girl.   (Twitter: BFM)

One week after 9-year-old Maelys de Araujo went missing from a family wedding in the French Alps, a man has been charged with kidnapping. As search and rescue teams continued to scour the area for Maelys, investigators on Sunday charged a 34-year-old in connection with her disappearance. The Grenoble prosecutor said in a statement, per the BBC, that the suspect, who was not named, "persisted in his denials" that he had nothing to do with the case that has riveted France, but "this did not convince the investigative judges, who decided to hold him." Le Parisien reports the girl's DNA was found in the suspect's car.

Along with kidnapping, the suspect was charged with illegal confinement and detention of a minor under 15. Maelys was last seen Aug. 27 at the wedding north of Grenoble. The suspect, who had attended the wedding, was one of two men questioned and later released on Friday. Police have interviewed some 250 people in connection with the case, per the BBC, including 180 wedding guests, and searched about 40 homes, per the AP. Hundreds of volunteers fanned out over the weekend searching for the girl. Police divers plunged into waterways and cavers combed the rugged terrain. "The absolute priority is to find the young Maelys," deputy prosecutor Laurent Becuywe told reporters, per the AP. (More kidnapping stories.)

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