French authorities have begun a murder probe following the discovery of a 12-year-old girl’s body in mysterious circumstances on a street in Paris. According to reports by French news outlets, the girl’s body was discovered tied up in a suitcase with the numbers 1 and 0 “placed” on the body.
According to official sources quoted by BFMTV, a French news outlet, the numbers were not made using a pen or making any cuts to the body.
The girl’s body was said to be discovered by a passerby on Rue Hautpoul in the French capital’s 19th arrondissement, just hours after she was reported missing by her parents on Friday evening.
Preliminary inspections suggested she had her throat cut, and that her feet and hands had been bound.
Sources quoted by BFMTV and CL Press, a news agency, also suggested that the victim had sores in her throat.
An autopsy was said to have taken place yesterday to determine the cause of death, and the meaning of the numbers on the body remains unknown.
The Paris prosecutor’s office has now opened an investigation into the “murder of a minor under the age of 15”.
According to the reports, the alarm was first raised on Friday afternoon, after the girl’s father became concerned that she had not returned home from school. At 5.30pm that day, her mother went to the police station to report the disappearance.
They claimed that the father of the girl – the caretaker of the apartment block the family lives in – told police he saw his daughter with a woman in her twenties on CCTV.
A witness is believed to have said that the same woman then asked for help carrying a trunk to a vehicle, which was said to be difficult to move.
Officers were said to be immediately suspicious, and reportedly discovered evidence in the basement of the building in Rue Manin – which intersects Rue Hautpoul – of a possible kidnapping.
Reports suggest items found included scotch tape and a cutter. The tape was discovered on the head of the victim.
Police then were said to have received a call from someone at around 11.30pm that evening, who said they had found a trunk with a body in it.
The woman who was seen on CCTV – which was said to be reviewed by investigators – is also believed to be in police custody, after being arrested on Saturday morning, just before 7.30am.
BFMTV said the woman was arrested in Bois-Colombes, a commune in the north-western Hauts-de-Seine suburb of Paris – approximately a 34-minute drive from Rue Hautpoul.