Man confesses to French toddler's rape-murder

15th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

NEVERS, France, May 14, 2006 (AFP) - The main suspect in the rape and murder of a four-year-old boy in a central French village was placed under judicial investigation overnight Saturday, the first step to laying formal charges, in a case that has enraged locals in the normally tranquil Nièvre region.

NEVERS, France, May 14, 2006 (AFP) - The main suspect in the rape and murder of a four-year-old boy in a central French village was placed under judicial investigation overnight Saturday, the first step to laying formal charges, in a case that has enraged locals in the normally tranquil Nièvre region.

The man, identified as Christian B., has been ordered held for "murder preceded by the rape of a minor under the age of 15", public prosecutor Christian Gongora said.

The man, in his 50s and a resident of the same village as the boy's family, was taken in for questioning on Friday, along with his former companion, named as Marie-Jeanne H.

Gongora, the prosecutor in the main regional city of Nevers, said the woman had been placed under investigation for failing to report the crime.

Christian B. confessed to the crime during his detention, admitting to "a number of facts that implicated him and (providing) a detailed scenario of the act", according to Gongora.

He confessed to being driven by "brutal impulses", the prosecutor told a press conference Saturday.

Mathias was found, naked and lifeless, last Sunday in his home village of Moulins-Engilbert. An autopsy determined the boy had been raped and probably drowned in a nearby river.

More than 700 people from the village turned out Friday for his funeral.

The suspected murderer's legal record is officially clear but a source close to the investigation told AFP Saturday the man had a "history of past litigation" over issues of public morality.

The source said some "disturbing items" had been seized during a search of the man's home on Friday.

Neighbors interviewed Saturday described Christian B. as average, but one said he had "problems with children".

In another child murder case in southern France, the detention of a suspect in the kidnapping and murder of a five-year-old girl has been extended for another day, investigators in Marseille said Saturday.

The 24-year-old man is still in the Laveran military hospital where he was taken Monday after attempting suicide when police came to search his home. That was where the body of the girl was found in a garbage can after she disappeared from her home last weekend.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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