Police dig for body of French'serial killer' au-pair

21st July 2004, Comments 0 comments

SART-CUSTINNE, Belgium July 21 (AFP) - Belgian investigators on Wednesday began the grisly task of digging for the body of a young woman suspected of being a victim of a self-confessed serial killer.

SART-CUSTINNE, Belgium July 21 (AFP) - Belgian investigators on Wednesday began the grisly task of digging for the body of a young woman suspected of being a victim of a self-confessed serial killer.

The search was taking place at Michel Fourniret's home near Sart-Custinne in southern Belgium where his wife, Monique Olivier, says he buried the body of an au-pair girl who disappeared in 1993.

Fourniret, 62, has already confessed to nine murders in France and Belgium.

When police and special units drained an artificial pond at the rear of the property they discovered a concrete slab which they then began to break up.

"We have broken through the concrete slab. We are 1.5 metres (five feet) down but we have not begun digging yet," said Belgian investigator Thierry Wouters. "So far we have found nothing."

"Fourniret created the pond. He had a small digger. He turned over his garden. He did a lot of work on the house," a neighbour who did not wish to be named said.

A mechanical digger was also at work turning over soil at another location hidden behind large blue sheets of plastic in the vast garden, now overrun by brambles and weeds.

"At the other spot we have got down to two metres. The ground has moved but that does not mean anything," he said, adding that his officers had been told to dig at the precise locations and that the search should be over by the end of the day.

Belgian police say that at one stage Fourniret had a caravan parked at the site.

"If we take the trouble of bringing in a victims identification unit, it means we are looking for bodies," he said, without giving any further details.

The property is situated close to the border with France, where Fourniret and Olivier lived for 10 years.

On July 3 police in France recovered the bodies of a 12-year-old girl and a 22-year-old woman from the spot where Fourniret confessed he had buried them.

Belgian investigators searched the garden at the Sart-Custinne property once before, shortly after Fourniret was arrested in June 2003 in connection with a bungled kidnapping of a young Belgian in the southern town of Ciney.

French police want to question Fourniret in connection with about 30 other unsolved murders and disappearances, but he is resisting being turned over to French justice under an international arrest warrant, according to the prosecutor's office at the Belgian town of Dinant.

He received a seven-year sentence in 1987 from a French court for rape and indecent assault of minors. But he was freed after a few months because of the length of time he had spent in custody.

He was re-arrested in Belgium in June 2003 for abduction of minors and sexual misconduct. But he only confessed to the murders around a month ago after his estranged wife made her accusations against him.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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