Missing French toddler Émile allegedly wanted to 'escape' from grandparents' home, new report claims

Missing since July 7, two-and-a-half-year-old Émile is believed to have run away from his grandparents' home in Haut-Vernet for a specific reason.

This is the real reason why little Émile wanted to escape his grandparents' home
© Gendarmerie
This is the real reason why little Émile wanted to escape his grandparents' home

For a month now, Émile, a little boy aged 2 and a half, has been missing from the hamlet of Haut-Vernet, in the Alpes-de-Hautes-Provence region of France, while on holiday with his grandparents. Late in the afternoon, his grandparents realized that their grandson was no longer present in the garden where he had been playing. Worried, they alerted the police.

Discover our latest podcast

A major search operation was launched. But Émile is still missing. Although the investigation is continuing, it seems to have come to a standstill.

The little boy might have wanted to escape

However, if Émile wanted to leave his grandparents' house, it wasn't without reason. According to an article in Le nouveau détective, published on August 8, the little boy had gone that day 'to play with his aunt and uncle, the youngest of whom is not yet ten years old'. Together, they used to build tree houses. They had built one out of sawn logs, 'on a steep path leading to the Col de Labouret'. For the children, this space was synonymous with 'tremendous freedom'.

So at lunchtime, Émile allegedly wanted to stay in the cabin. Le Nouveau détective points out that the little boy almost had to be dragged from the tree house.

The others almost had to force him back home.

So, after his nap, around 4:30 p.m., all the little boy could think about was getting back to the tree house he'd built. According to the magazine, he kept repeating the same thing when he woke up.

But, unfortunately, his grandfather had other plans for him. According to the source, who remains undisclosed, it was probably also 'a way of letting off steam'.

The little one escaped his grandfather's authority for a few moments.

Émile would therefore have escaped his grandparents' surveillance, seeing the gate wide open.

These details have not been confirmed by officials investigating the case.

Read more:Missing French toddler: Retired prosecutor gives his chilling theory on what happened to Émile

A stalled investigation

For the time being, investigators are not focusing on any particular lead. It was at a fountain, just 60 metres from the family home, that the little boy's trail endedafter the Saint-Hubert dogs intervened. A breed 'reputed to have more olfactory qualities'.

Two neighbors had also claimed to have spotted Émile on a winding street leading to the heart of the village on the day he disappeared. 'I know what I saw,' said one of the two witnesses.

Recently, the grandmother's behavior had surprised several residents of Haut-Vernet. Éliane, for example, explained that she couldn't understand why the boy's grandmother could go on about her usual activities, like shopping or going swimming. She told Paris Match:

At least that's what people are saying... If it had been me and the search had been suspended from July 13 to 25, I would have been very upset, I would have asked the journalists for help!

Other residents, however, came to the family's defense.

Read more:Missing French toddler: Everything we know about Émile's family

This article has been translated from Oh!MyMag FR.

Source used:

Le Nouveau détective

Missing French toddler: This is why investigators raided Émile's grandparent's house Missing French toddler: This is why investigators raided Émile's grandparent's house