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Émile Soleil: Remains of missing French boy found in Alps

The two-year-old went missing last July (@GendarmerieNationale_Twitter/AF)
The two-year-old went missing last July (@GendarmerieNationale_Twitter/AF)

Bones belonging to the two-year-old boy Émile Soleil have been discovered in the Alps, eight months after he vanished.

Walkers discovered the remains on Saturday, in the countryside, around two miles from his grandparents’ house in the French village Haut-Vernet.

This is where Émile was last seen in July 2023, while being taken care of by his grandfather, Philippe Vedovini.

A massive search took place for the little boy but nothing was found until this weekend.

Émile’s family was at Easter Sunday mass when they were told the news, French media reports.

Public prosecutors in Aix-en-Provence released a statement on Sunday to say that “genetic analysis identifies” the bones found in the Alps as belonging to Émile.

They said “criminalistic analysis” and “additional research” in the area was ongoing.

Volunteers take part in a search operation in July 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)
Volunteers take part in a search operation in July 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

An investigating source quoted by French media said Émile’s skull was among his remains.

He said: “It is being analysed, along with his bones, in an attempt to establish the cause of death.

“The deceased's teeth have all been recovered too, but some other elements of the body are gone.

“Drones and sniffer dogs are combing the entire area of countryside to try and find more.

“It may be that body parts were taken away by wild animals, but no theory is being ruled out.”

José Morale, mayor of La Bouilladisse, the town near Marseille where Émile's family live for most of the year, said: “We will do our best to support them.

“For the parents, it's very complicated. There is no relief, the sadness is infinite, we are all dejected.”