Two days after the discovery of the bones of little Emile, dozens of investigators sifted on Monday April 1, the surroundings of the hamlet of Haut-Vernet (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence), where the 2-year-old boy and demi went missing in July 2023.

“The search will last as long as it is necessary,” warned Colonel Pierre-Yves Bardy, commander of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence gendarmerie group, responsible for securing the sector, at a press conference in Le Vernet. where field experts, including anthropologists and dog handlers, work: “We must prevent hikers or other people from polluting the site. » “It’s extremely fine, cutting-edge work, that’s why we bring in the best, those who have the highest expertise at the international level,” insisted the gendarme.

To facilitate this research, the tiny town of twenty-five inhabitants is once again cut off from the world, at least for the week, as decided by a municipal decree. A barrier placed in the middle of the only road which leaves the village of Vernet to lead to the hamlet of Haut-Vernet blocks access, journalists from Agence France-Presse (AFP) noted. Only several gendarme trucks have passed since 7:30 a.m.

An investigation relaunched

Although the bones have been found, the investigation is far from over. “We are not certain of discovering the cause or the circumstances of the death,” warned the spokesperson for the gendarmerie, Marie-Laure Pezant, on Franceinfo, Monday morning: “We have some of the bones, we do not will perhaps not have all the elements to define the circumstances of the death. »

Only a few bones, including the skull of the 2 and a half year old child, were found by a hiker on Saturday, not far from the hamlet, between Digne-les-Bains and Gap. “In an area surrounded by nature, steep and not always easy to access” which had nevertheless been inspected “several times” since July, specified Ms. Pezant, recognizing that there is “a tiny chance” that the investigators had passed next to the body during this summer’s battles.

The objective will be to determine scientifically whether the body was in this place as soon as the child disappeared: “When you have a body deposited, you have elements in the ground which allow you to know that the body stayed for a certain period of time. time on this ground”, explained the spokesperson for the gendarmerie.

Dog teams

The anthropologists will “try to identify if these bones were on site or if they could have been brought back by a person, an animal, or the weather conditions”. These experts will work together in the field with some of their colleagues from the Criminal Research Institute of the National Gendarmerie (IRCGN), while the forensic analyzes on the bones will continue in the institute’s laboratories. in Pontoise, in the Parisian suburbs.

They also benefit from the support of two teams from the national dog center of Gramat (Lot), with “dogs specialized in the search for human remains,” said Colonel Bardy. The investigation promises to be “complex”, insisted Sunday the public prosecutor of Aix-en-Provence, Jean-Luc Blachon. “The mystery moves, but we are still in the mystery,” summarized the mayor of Le Vernet, François Balique.

A few days earlier, Thursday March 28, a scenario, a sort of reconstruction of the facts, had also taken place in Haut-Vernet. During this, seventeen people were summoned, including all those present on the day of Emile’s disappearance, to try to determine precisely their actions and actions.