'Serial killer' stumps police: no body found

22nd July 2004, Comments 0 comments

SART-CUSTINNE, Belgium, July 21 (AFP) - Belgian investigators failed Wednesday to find the body of a young girl allegedly murdered by self-confessed serial killer Michel Fourniret after digging in two places indicated by Fourniret's estranged wife.

SART-CUSTINNE, Belgium, July 21 (AFP) - Belgian investigators failed Wednesday to find the body of a young girl allegedly murdered by self-confessed serial killer Michel Fourniret after digging in two places indicated by Fourniret's estranged wife.

Fourniret, a 62-year-old carpenter of French nationality, has already confessed to nine murders in France and Belgium. His wife, Monique Olivier, said he additionally murdered a young, unidentified au-pair girl and buried her in the rambling garden of a house the couple owns here.

But after digging in two spots indicated by Olivier and emptying an ornamental lake, "we found absolutely nothing," said Thierry Wouters, of the victims-identification unit of the Belgian police.

"We raked the earth in five-centimetre layers down to three meters (10 feet), but there was nothing and there never has been anything in the places we were told to look," he said after the four-hour search.

Police have only Olivier's word that the girl existed, since Fourniret denies his wife's accusation that he raped and killed her. Olivier described the girl as a blonde, French-speaker whom the couple hired in Brussels in 1993 to look after their then six-year-old son.

The girl reportedly was seen by neighbours for a couple of weeks, and then disappeared. Despite appeals for witnesses, no one has come forward to identify her.

"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.

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

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 at a mansion he formerly owned there.

French police want to question Fourniret in connection with about 30 other unsolved murders and disappearances. Investigators said that in questioning by two French police officers, he confirmed that he had killed 17-year-old Isabelle Laville, who disappeared in the Auxerre region of central France in 1987, but had otherwise added no new elements to the inquiry.

He said he had thrown the body into a well.

Fourniret lived near Auxerre after being freed from prison, where he served part of a seven-year sentence for rape and indecent assault. Two other girls disappeared during the time he lived there, including Joanna Parrish from Britain, who went missing in 1990.

Fourniret was arrested in Belgium in June 2003 for the attempted abduction of a young girl, who escaped and led police to him. He 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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