The residents of Gray, France, number just 5,000, but on Sunday some 10,000 people took to the streets there in Alexia Daval's name. The 29-year-old's body was found last Monday, in a crime that the Times of London reports has raised the fears of female runners in the country. Daval went missing on a Saturday morning run on Oct. 28. When she didn't return, her husband alerted the police, and the Local reports her body was found badly burned in a wooded area near the town in the east of France. The BBC describes her remains as "covered in foliage."
It's been determined that Daval was strangled, and a source says there is no sign of sexual assault. Daval's mother spoke to the crowd on Sunday, saying, "You are making Alexia into a strong symbol, one of the freedom for all women to enjoy running and to live." The Times reports that in the past decade, seven women have been murdered while on runs in various parts of France; none of the women had any connection with her male attacker, six of whom have been convicted. Says the deputy mayor of Daval's town, "It gives us the shivers to know that there is a killer in the wild." (French police may have a break in a notorious cold case.)