It is the story of a track blurred for almost 20 years by negligence and mistaken beliefs. Marion Wagon - Michel Fourniret: a thread between a missing girl with an angelic face and a Machiavellian killer that justice seems finally decided to weave. As revealed this Thursday by Le Parisien - Today in France, around thirty unknown DNAs from Fourniret's van and a mattress that belonged to it are being compared with around twenty cold cases. The Marion Wagon case, a laughing child of 10 years old, who disappeared on November 14, 1996 at the end of her school in Agen (Lot-et-Garonne), appears at the top of the pile.
According to corroborating sources, "a toothbrush and toys that belonged to the girl" have been requested in recent weeks from the Wagon family by the investigating judge who recently took over the case.
The magistrate hopes to be able to extract Marion's DNA from these objects in order to compare it with the seals of the Fourniret case, confirmed the Agen prosecutor's office.
"These investigations are essential but come late because Michel Fourniret is no longer in a position to be questioned about Marion, deplores Me Georges Catala, the family lawyer, who asked the justice to carry out these scientific verifications from last February.
There were, however, questions to be asked of him for many long years.
Among the "70 potential victims"
Back in the summer of 2003. In the back of a white C25 van, a young girl manages to undo the ties tied by her kidnapper.
When the vehicle stops at a stop sign, the teenager manages to flee and alert a motorist who picks up the plate from the van.
She has just escaped certain death and precipitated the fall of Michel Fourniret, arrested on June 26, 2003 by the Belgian police.
After several dozen interrogations, his partner, Monique Olivier, reveals the existence of seven murders committed by her husband in France and Belgium.
More than 1,000 km away, in Agen (Lot-et-Garonne), the news of the arrest of a major predator reaches the ears of the gendarmes of the “Marion cell”, who have been struggling for seven. years to discover what could have happened to the little girl.
The name of Marion Wagon very quickly joined the list of “70 potential victims” of Fourniret established by the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police (DCPJ).
In February 2005, at the request of the judge in charge of the case, the gendarmes even went to Belgium to hear Monique Olivier about the Wagon affair.
It doesn't ring a bell and I think the distance is too long to go hunting, evades the killer's companion.
The facts for which Fourniret was guilty did not take place far from home.
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Sometimes disturbed by the description of the girl provided by the gendarmes, Monique Olivier maintains, however, that “Fourniret would never have attacked a child who was not physically trained. He preferred young, well-formed, blond girls with a ponytail and he preferred them virgins ”.
"In France, we are investigating the facts and not the people," deplores a former investigator from the Marion cell.
When we went to Belgium, we obviously knew everything about Marion, but we had hardly any information about Fourniret.
Under these conditions, without even knowing if he had come to the region, it was inconceivable to make him confess to a murder… ”The gendarmes therefore returned to Agen without convincing evidence, but not for all that convinced by the denials of the accomplice of the killer. .
A summary written on February 22, 2005 thus concludes that “the line of work concerning Fourniret cannot be completely abandoned at this stage of the investigation.
The hope of DNA
In the absence of spontaneous confession, justice tries to take refuge in science. In 2006, DNA tests were undertaken to explore the trail of the serial killer, but they encountered an incredible gap. At the time of carrying out their analyzes, the experts note that seal n ° 5 - of Marion's hair - is no longer usable and that they no longer have the girl's genetic fingerprint.
The samples taken from the killer's van are therefore only compared to the DNA of mother Marion, reducing the chances of matches.
Expertise in kinship is then in its infancy and does not yield anything.
Close the ban.
The Fourniret trail was ruled out for 15 long years.
"The hypothesis was attractive, but we had no convincing things," says a former investigator.
Basically, we were in the same situation as the police officers in the Estelle Mouzin case ”, kidnapped on January 9, 2003 in Seine-et-Marne.
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Inseparable in the collective memory, the two little girls who evaporated on a Thursday after leaving school are also closely linked on the legal level. Like the lawyers of the Mouzin family, Me Georges Catala scrapped with a litany of judges braced on a truncated vision of Michel Fourniret. Magistrates and investigators have long thought that Marion and Estelle, aged 10 and 9 respectively at the time of their disappearance, were too young and did not correspond to the predator's targets. Nobody imagined Fourniret either capable of covering more than 250 km under the snow from the Ardennes to come and kidnap Estelle, in Guermantes.
The serial killer's tortuous confession and the discovery of Estelle's DNA on a mattress that belonged to her ultimately defeated these theories fueled by the evil couple's lies.
Police officers, gendarmes and judges are now convinced of this: yes, the Ogre des Ardennes was capable of attacking children and yes, he could go "hunting" several hundred kilometers from his home.
“The similarities between Estelle Mouzin and Marion Wagon are disturbing,” underlines Me Georges Catala.
The age of the girls, the modus operandi… It is now time to do the work that has not been done for 15 years.