A nine-year-old girl who has gone missing at a wedding may have been bundled into a car by kidnappers, police fear. Maelys De Araujo was last seen around 3am local time in the early hours of Sunday at the village hall in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, Isere, in south east France.
And now 48 hours after her disappearance, police have launched a formal kidnapping investigation. Officers fear a criminal act because sniffer dogs found Maelys’s scent in the hall and out into the car park – but it ended there.
It raises the chilling possibility that the girl was taken into a vehicle and driven off by kidnappers. When she first disappeared a guest said people assumed she had fallen asleep while playing hide-and-seek. Maelys was at the wedding along with her parents, older sister, and other relatives. Police have been scouring the area with helicopters and dogs in a desperate search for her and officers and firefighters have been searching the sewers, the nearby river, and through the bushes.