The investigation into the death of Iris Coëtmen, 23, this young woman found dead on Saturday, May 27 in the morning near Lorient (Morbihan), has made great strides over the last two days. Christophe R., 48, arrested Thursday at his home and placed in custody, was presented to an investigating judge this Friday, June 9 late afternoon, he was indicted in the aftermath, learned Le Parisien from concordant sources.
According to our information, the suspect denied the facts en bloc while in custody. He denies having had contact with Iris on the night of the 26th to the 27th while the police have physical evidence to the contrary. According to a source close to the case, there are also fears that the suspect may have committed other rapes and murders in the area because his behavior that night is described as that of a predator.
The suspect was identified on CCTV images from the sub-prefecture of Lorient, where the victim can be seen lying on the public road. It was the cross-referencing of data between owners of white commercial vehicles and the identity of offenders registered in the Automated Judicial File of Perpetrators of Sexual or Violent Offences (Fijais) that led to the arrest of Christophe R.
Christophe R. had already been sentenced to nine years in prison in June 2015 by the Morbihan Assize Court for sexually abusing a young woman during an "ultra-violent attack". The facts dated back to January 2001, but the investigation was initially closed for lack of evidence to identify it, before being reopened thanks to DNA ten years later.
"Before prison, he did a lot of stupid things"
According to our information, Christophe, who previously lived in Lanester where Iris' body was found, was living nearby in a house in Hennebont, which he has owned for several years. His relations with his relatives, who also live in the region, are visibly strained, if not non-existent, especially since his conviction and incarceration.
"We really don't see him anymore," says a family member. So much so that he would have married a little secretly with his girlfriend about a year ago; We learned it in other ways." The suspect would have recently married the woman who shared his life and with whom he had a daughter, now of age.
The family acknowledges that Christophe R.'s profile was special: "Before prison, he did a lot of stupid things. He was a bit of a clepto, but more of a type to steal pants on a clothesline," says one. For another, on the other hand, "he was still a hard worker — he always worked — someone kind, courageous, and above all simple. I knew all his companions, and I never saw him hit a woman or commit any act of violence."
The autopsy of Iris' body, which had been discovered naked except for her socks, had highlighted "traumatic injuries and hematomas on the head and face (shocks by blunt objects ...), gripping lesions on the arms, traces of strangulation", thus confirming the criminal track. This examination had also made it possible "to evoke the recent nature of sexual intercourse, without it being possible to affirm the existence of violence in this respect," said the prosecutor of the Republic of Lorient. A judicial investigation "against X" for "kidnapping", "voluntary homicide" and "rape", had been opened by the prosecutor's office and the judicial police of Rennes seized of the investigation.
Iris Coëtmen had vanished after spending the evening of Friday, May 26 in a bar in Lorient where she had her habits. His body was recovered the next morning, around 10 am, 6 km away, floating in the Blavet, in Lanester. According to the first elements that had been gathered at the beginning of the investigation, she had been seen for the last time around 3:30 am, shortly after closing, staggering under the influence of alcohol, accompanied, according to several witnesses, by three men. One of them, who is none other than his brother-in-law, would have left the group first. Placed in police custody for a few hours at the very beginning of the investigation, he was released without prosecution, his statements having been corroborated by the investigation.