French police investigating the disappearance of an 18-year-old girl found the body on Thursday after the main suspect confessed to killing her in a lover’s argument, prosecutors said.
The 39-year-old man took police into the woods near the southern town of La Grand-Combe, where the girl lived, after he admitted to the crime Wednesday night.
He “killed a young woman during a fight related to their romantic relationship,” she said.
Investigators found a “girl’s body that matched every aspect” in the missing person’s description, she added, even though a forensic examination was required to confirm her identity.
A source close to the investigation said the body bore signs of a “violent death”.
Sihem, whose surname is withheld, disappeared after leaving his home in La Grande Combe late on the night of January 25.
Police deployed helicopters and sniffer dogs to try and find her, but without success.
On Tuesday, police detained both the suspect, a man convicted of previous crimes including theft with a weapon, and his ex-girlfriend, who is the cousin of the missing girl.
The cousin was released.
The suspect “has decided to confront his heavy responsibility for Sichem’s disappearance and end the excruciating suspense of her relatives by leading investigators,” said his attorney Jean-Marc Dalligade.
“He knows his crime will not be forgiven, but his silence would have only made things worse.”
Investigators initially suspected a kidnapping.
In France, there is growing concern over the number of women murdered each year.
Up to 122 women will be murdered by their partners or ex-partners in France in 2021, up from 102 the year before, according to the interior ministry.
About 146 murders of women were recorded in the country in 2019.
https://www.expatica.com/fr/general/french-police-find-body-in-missing-teenager-case-884455/ French police find body in missing teenager case