Romain C., the alleged murderer of Vanessa, the 14-year-old Spanish teenager who was strangled to death last Friday in the south of France, was the father of a girl just a month ago, according to the regional newspaper Sud Ouest. The suspect, who after being arrested immediately helped the police locate the body in an abandoned house, went to court yesterday in Agen, in the Lot-et-Garonne department, about 140 kilometers southeast of Bordeaux.
Vanessa's death caused a special impact because it coincided with the demonstrations that took place in several French cities, on Saturday, against impunity for crimes of gender violence, and because the country is still very sensitive after the heinous murder, last month, of Lola, a 12-year-old girl, whose body, mutilated and with signs of sexual assault, was found in a plastic trunk in the courtyard of the building where she lived, in a neighborhood in the north of Paris. As an alleged murderer, she is in pretrial detention an Algerian immigrant in an irregular situation and with mental problems.
"The martyrdom of 14-year-old Vanessa," headlined Le Parisien when reporting the new tragedy. In an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche, the president of the National Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet, who was not yet aware of Vanessa's case when she made her remarks, said that the figures on sexual violence committed against children are "terrifying" and that "It would be necessary a Me
The details that emerge about the personality of Romain C., 31, a temporary worker, outline the profile of a "very reserved" man, even with his company colleagues. One of his former colleagues confessed to the television station BFM-TV that he noticed "a shadow zone" in him. The alleged murderer, in fact, had already been convicted of sexual assault when he was 15 years old. The victim was 14. Romain C. was hospitalized for only two weeks. He was released, with a two-year probationary period. However, because he was a minor, he was not included in the national file of sexual offenders.
Vanessa's alleged killer - who has been indicted - probably chose his victim at random. According to Sud Ouest, Romain C. did not know the girl and attacked her because she was simply under a “predatory” impulse. Vanessa had left her school, in the town of Tonneins, where the family, Spanish, had settled in 2021. After the mother reported her daughter's disappearance to the police, the surveillance cameras on the street were decisive. to detect the sequence of the abduction and the license plate of the car that Roumain C. was driving. After her arrest and first confession, the girl was found lifeless in an abandoned house in Birac-sur-Trec, about 15 kilometers from Tonneins. The perpetrator would have admitted to raping her, but that will be determined in the forensic examinations.
This drama, in the heart of rural France, shows how difficult it is to prevent sexual crimes given the complex psychological profile of the perpetrators. Romain C. lived with his partner in Marmande, another town in the region. She, already the mother of a 5-year-old son, gave birth to a girl a month ago, the result of her relationship with the alleged murderer. According to some testimonies, Romain C. has a problem with alcohol and can be violent when he has drunk. Some neighbors reported seeing him frequently, dressed in black, inside his vehicle, drinking beers.