Search for missing two-year-old French boy Émile called off

Emile has been missing for five days  (@Gendarmerie / Twitter)
Emile has been missing for five days (@Gendarmerie / Twitter)

The countryside search for missing French boy Émile was called off on Wednesday night, after four days.

Hundreds of gendarmes, police and volunteers were involved in a vast operation around the Alpine hamlet of Le Haut Veren, south of Grenoble, after the two-year-old disappeared on Saturday afternoon.

The boy, named only as Emile, was last seen walking down the street near his grandparents’ house by two witnesses on Saturday afternoon, according to authorities.

The hamlet is home to only two dozen people.

Local prosecutor Rémy Avon said on Wednesday that the search could go no further, and that there was “no sign” of Émile.

He said the “physical search” would officially end on Wednesday evening.

But he added: “The judicial investigation into the causes of the disappearance will continue, in particular by analysing the considerable mass of information and elements collected over the past four days.”

He said the possibilities that Émile had been murdered, kidnapped, or been involved in an accident were all being looked at.

“All these theories are active,” said Mr Avon. “Nothing has been ruled out.”