Almost two weeks after the discovery of little Emile’s skull by a hiker near Haut-Vernet, where he had disappeared in the summer of 2023, the Aix-en-Provence public prosecutor’s office announced, Wednesday April 10, the end of research.

The “methodical and thorough” searches of more than 45 hectares of land “allowed the discovery of several bodily items and effects” belonging to Emile Soleil, recalls the press release from the prosecution. After the discovery of the child’s skull on March 30, searches first revealed clothes he was wearing on the day of his disappearance. On Monday, a “small piece of bone” from Emile was also found “in the same area as the clothes, below the skull”, announced the public prosecutor of Aix-en-Provence, Jean-Luc Blachon.

Emile had disappeared on July 8, when he had just arrived for the summer holidays with his maternal grandparents, in their second home in the hamlet of Haut-Vernet, attached to the village of Vernet, 1,200 meters above sea level. ‘altitude. For nine months, the investigation had yielded nothing concrete, until the discovery of the child’s skull and teeth, about 1.7 kilometers from the hamlet, a twenty-five minute walk for an adult.

The prosecution calls for preserving “the serenity of the investigation”

The investigating judges, who are leading the investigation in Aix-en-Provence, then immediately deployed dozens of gendarmes on the ground, including specialists in “crime scene engineering”, anthropologists and two teams canines searching for human remains, said the prosecution.

The discoveries, the expertise of which continues at the Criminal Research Institute of the National Gendarmerie (IRCGN), did not, however, make it possible to determine the cause of the death of the two and a half year old boy. The bones found only show post-mortem fractures and cracks, and their appearance only allows us to affirm that they were not buried, the prosecutor specified. “Between the fall, manslaughter and murder, we still cannot favor one hypothesis over another,” explained Jean-Luc Blachon on April 2, during his only press briefing on this issue.

“The judicial investigation will continue in light of the results of the discoveries made and the ongoing expertise, with the aim of determining the circumstances of Emile’s death,” concluded Mr. Blachon. From now on, “it is important that the serenity of the investigation be preserved, as must the tranquility of the child’s family and the inhabitants of Haut-Vernet”, after months of over-media coverage, insisted the prosecution on Wednesday.