A 31-year-old French man, who was already convicted of sexual assault as a minor, was arrested as a suspect in the kidnapping and murder of Vanessa, a 14-year-old Spanish teenager who lived in a town in the south of France with her family.
The Agen Prosecutor, Olivier Naboulet, today explained some details of this sad event that has shaken France, just the day when thousands of people demonstrated in the country to denounce the inaction of the public powers in the face of sexist violence. “Our first thoughts are with this young woman and her family,” Naboulet said.
Vanessa was found lifeless in an abandoned house in Birac-sur-Trec, a few kilometers from Tonneins (south of France), where the minor lived with her parents and two brothers. According to information from the French press, they had emigrated from Spain only a year ago.
According to the Prosecutor, the Gendarmerie was alerted on Friday by the mother of the adolescent, alarmed that she had not returned home after school. Thanks to the surveillance cameras, the suspect's vehicle into which Vanessa would have entered was detected.
Once the car was identified, the agents went to its owner's home before midnight on Friday. At that moment, the suspect told the gendarmes: "I know why you are here," according to Naboulet's account.
The man indicated where the lifeless body of the young woman was located and quickly went into police custody during which, according to the BFMTV channel, he confessed to the kidnapping and murder of Vanessa.
The Prosecutor, however, could not confirm if there was a sexual assault, since the forensic analyzes are still ongoing. He also did not confirm how he died. Some French media pointed to a strangulation.
After hearing the news, the mother Vanessa, under enormous psychological impact, was admitted to the hospital, official Spanish sources told EFE. At the moment, no further details have been disclosed.
Local media reported that Vanessa was in a special reinforcement class at the Tonneins institute for those who do not have French as their mother tongue, as she had only been in the country for a year.
The 31-year-old suspect had already been sentenced to 15 days of imprisonment exempt from compliance if he did not reoffend for sexual assault in 2006, when he himself was a minor (15 years old). The Prosecutor specified that the man was not registered in the police file of sexual offenders.