Relentlessly excavated, will the soil of the Ardennes finally deliver the body of Estelle Mouzin, who disappeared in 2003? Since Tuesday, soldiers and gendarmes have returned to Issancourt-et-Rummel, guided by unpublished statements from Monique Olivier, the ex-wife of serial killer Michel Fourniret.
Last week, a backhoe loader overturned the earth of a swampy area to the south-west of this town of 400 souls. From now on, it is on the opposite side, in a vast forest area to the north-east of the village, that the research is concentrated, without construction machinery for the moment. This umpteenth research was ordered after the hearing last Thursday of Monique Olivier by the examining magistrate Sabine Kheris.
Localization taken very seriously
During this interrogation, the former accomplice of the “Ogre des Ardennes” recognized for the first time a role in the kidnapping of Estelle Mouzin, kidnapped eighteen years ago in Guermantes in Seine-et-Marne. She also indicated the place where “Michel Fourniret even asked him to come and pick him up by car” after having buried the body of the girl, according to his lawyer Richard Delgenes. “Precise”, these indications are “taken very seriously” by investigators, he told AFP.
Monique Olivier had so far admitted knowing about Estelle’s murder and providing her husband with an alibi, but this time “she confirms that she saw her and that she was there when the body was transported”, adds Didier Seban, the child’s family lawyer.
These unprecedented details, obtained “thanks to the relationship of trust established with the judge”, pave the way for a new twist in the investigation, which comes up against the faltering memory and fragile health by Michel Fourniret. At 78, the serial killer has been hospitalized since November.
“It’s so vast, there is something to get lost”
On the other hand, 72 years old, his ex-wife is in perfect health and asserts herself over the months as a centerpiece of the puzzle. Indicted for “complicity”, it was she who clearly indicated that Estelle Mouzin had been kidnapped, raped and strangled by her ex-husband, in a house inherited from the killer’s sister in Ville-sur-Lumes, a village located just 4 km from Issancourt-et-Rumel.
With her new statements, Monique Olivier drew the scenario of a “murder with four hands”, as for the previous victims, estimates the lawyer. According to him, “the excavations are likely to last a very long time”, given the extent of the forest to be explored.
An opinion shared by the inhabitants of the village, who curiously observe the comings and goings of the gendarmes of the Criminal Research Institute of the National Gendarmerie.
“I would be very surprised if they found something here,” says Christian Médeau, a 75-year-old retiree who lives in a small house on the edge of the woods. “It’s so vast, there is something to get lost. From here, it’s the forest to Belgium ”.
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