Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday met the parents of a 12-year-old girl whose brutalised body was found in a trunk in a killing that shocked France, his office said.
Macron “offered his condolences and assured them of his complete solidarity and support in the ordeal they are going through, and which has shaken all of us,” the Elysee added.
A 24-year-old woman with a history of psychiatric disorders has been charged with the rape and murder of the young girl, identified only as “Lola”, and is being held in custody.
Prosecutors said Monday that in a rambling interview, the suspect had described luring Lola into her sister’s apartment - located in the same building where the girl lived - and forcing her to take a shower, before sexually assaulting and ultimately killing the 12-year-old.
An autopsy report said Lola died of “cardio-respiratory failure with signs of asphyxiation and cervical compression”, as well as suffering wounds on her neck and elsewhere on her body.
Investigators quickly got on the suspect’s trail after Lola’s father, the building’s custodian, spotted her interacting with his daughter in CCTV recordings that he checked when Lola did not return from school on Friday afternoon.
But a homeless man was the first to discover the body, which sources familiar with the investigation said was hidden under cloths in a plastic box in the building’s courtyard.
Investigators suspect a 43-year-old man - also questioned in custody on Monday - sheltered the young woman and drove her around in the vehicle in which she was discovered.
An eyewitness who also saw her at the scene said that she had offered him money to help her move a large trunk, several media outlets reported.
Local residents placed flowers at the gate of the family’s building over the weekend.
Meanwhile, school authorities have announced they will set up psychological aid for staff and pupils at Lola’s middle school and others in the area.
Some politicians have already begun using the case to attack the government’s immigration policy, as the Algerian suspect was under an order to leave France after overstaying her student visa.