The skull of a Drômois, whose disappearance in 2016 is one of hundreds of files re-examined to detect a possible involvement of Nordahl Lelandais, was discovered in the Vercors massif, the Valence prosecutor's office said on Wednesday January 4.
The causes of Eric Foray's death remain to be discovered, like the rest of his remains.
For the time being, no hypothesis has been ruled out, including that leading to intentional homicide
, ”said the public prosecutor of Valence, Laurent de Caigny, in a press release.
He considered the discovery and formal identification of the skull via "
" to be a "
" in the investigation.
The circumstances of the discovery of the skull were not specified.
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This discovery, as sad as it is, confirms what we feared.
Now we need to know more about where the skull was found (...) to know if we are on a confirmed homicide case
, "said Bernard Valézy, the national vice-president of the ARPD (Assistance and Search for Missing Persons), which notably supports Régis Pique, the companion of Eric Foray.
Some families, members of this association founded in 2003 and which helps relatives of the disappeared, demand in particular that checks be made with the course of Nordahl Lelandais.
Left on September 16, 2016 to run errands in Chatuzange-le-Goubet, Eric Foray, 47 years old, short hair and athletic look, had disappeared.
Despite the searches carried out, the man had not been found, nor his vehicle.
By an additional indictment dated January 3, 2023, the Valence public prosecutor's office extended the referral to the investigating judge to the qualification of murder, so that he now continues to elucidate the circumstances, if any, criminal of the death
of the disappeared, said Laurent de Caigny.
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The initial investigation had led the prosecution to open a judicial investigation for kidnapping and forcible confinement.
The investigations were carried out by the "
" group of the Grenoble research section, supported by the Drôme gendarmerie group, according to the same source.
On June 11, 2018, the gendarmerie had launched an appeal for witnesses as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Eric Foray and that of a young woman, Nelly Balmain in August 2011. "
There is nothing to this stage in the file which makes it possible to link it to Nordahl Lelandais.
However, this does not mean that there is nothing to do, hence the launch of the two calls for witnesses.
What we are looking for is the small detail that will make the difference
, ”explained General Jean-Philippe Lecouffe, at the time deputy director of the judicial police of the general direction of the national gendarmerie.
Nordahl Lelandais was sentenced last February to life imprisonment for the murder of little Maëlys, 8, in August 2017. He was already serving a 20-year prison sentence pronounced in May 2021 for the murder of the young soldier Arthur Noyer, which he hitchhiked in Chambéry in April 2017.