Is called Emile, he is two and a half years old and disappeared without a trace last Saturday while playing in the garden of his grandparents’ house in Vernet, a town in Alpes de Haute Provence, in the south of the country. A large device has been looking for him since then: fifty gendarmes and 24 firefighters.
Hundreds of residents and volunteers from the town also participate in the search efforts. This occurs in steep and mountainous areas. Dogs, helicopters and drones with thermal cameras have been deployed. “The first 48 hours are crucial,” Digne-les-Bains prosecutor Rémy Avon said at a press conference.
An investigation has been opened for “disturbing disappearance”. Rémy Avon explained how little is known about his disappearance: two witnesses saw him going down the street. He was playing at his grandparents’ house, in an area with houses next to each other, “like a kind of town square.” That’s where they lose track.
The people who last saw him did not find the situation disturbing and therefore did not alert the police. “No hypothesis is ruled out at the moment”, the prosecutor has indicated. The little one could have fallen, had an accident, but it is not ruled out, therefore, that someone had taken him.
A telephone line has been opened to find clues, fifty calls have been received, according to the prosecutor, who will give another press conference this afternoon. He has added that the device will fit. At the time of his disappearance, the little boy was wearing a yellow shirt and white pants.