The death of her 51-year-old husband, Patrice Charlemagne, a university professor very involved in local life, had sparked a rain of tributes on social networks, and messages of condolences to his wife. Justine Jotham, a city councillor of Dunkirk, finally confessed to killing her spouse, during his custody began Wednesday. She was indicted on Friday for "murder"
The young woman, born in 1986, had alerted the police claiming to have been the victim of a fatal burglary to her husband. Doctor and lecturer in literature, the thirty-year-old is among the research professors of the University of the Littoral Côte d'Opale, where the deceased, Patrice Charlemagne, 51, also taught.
Elected in 2020 on the list of the mayor of Dunkirk, Patrice Vergriete - now Minister of Housing - she is also a children's author and led a cultural association promoting reading. She had alerted police at 4 a.m. on Monday saying the couple had been woken up by burglars and that she had left the scene with her 20-month-old daughter, while the man remained in the pavilion.
Two bloody knives, a pair of gloves...
The fifty-year-old was found in a room on the first floor of the marital home in Rosendaël (North), a neighborhood on the outskirts of Dunkirk, hit by several stab wounds. Two bloodied knives, a pair of gloves, a flashlight and a laptop were seized near the home, according to a police source.
An investigation for voluntary homicide had been opened Monday, entrusted to the judicial police, the track of the burglary being then "under exploration", according to the prosecutor of the Republic of Dunkirk, Charlotte Huet.
But on Wednesday, the wife was placed in custody, "after examining testimonies, statements, technical and scientific findings" to "confront her version of the facts with the elements collected in the investigation," said the prosecutor. She was confronted with several suspicious material elements, according to another source close to the investigation.
There was in particular "a gash on his left hand that corresponded to that of a glove found on the spot" and "the analysis of smartphones that suggested tensions in the couple", as well as "inconsistencies in the account of the facts", said this source to AFP.