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18th Jul 2023

Fears missing French boy was involved in farming accident after disappearance

Kat O'Connor

Émile has not been seen in 10 days after vanishing from his grandparents’ home.

French police fear missing 2-year-old Émile could have been involved in a farming accident after he went missing. 10 days have passed since the young boy vanished from his grandparents’ house in Le Vernet.

Police investigating the case now believe he could have been hit by a combine harvester while walking through long grass.

A local farmer said the young boy being injured by agricultural equipment is not “an illogical scenario”.

Police have ruled out multiple theories including animal attacks, but are now following the farming accident lead.

A local farmer told BFMTV:

“Sometimes we find deer. The little one may have ended up in the tall grass and been hit by a farm machine. That would be terrible.”

Émile’s family were on holiday in Le Vernet at the time of his disappearance. According to reports, there were 10 adults in the house when he went missing. Police believe the young boy wandered off when he was playing outdoors and spotted a butterfly.

Two witnesses spotted the young boy walking near his grandparents’ property, but he has not been seen since July 8th.

Last week, police called off the physical search after days of looking for Émile.

The mayor of Le Vernet has now said their “only hope is Émile has been taken and is alive”.

He told Le Figaro newspaper, “Our only hope now is that he’s been taken and is alive. It’s the last thing we can hope for and it’s already terrible.

“We could conceive that someone wanting a child passed by the area, saw this beautiful little boy, and took him away. He couldn’t survive alone in the wild, that’s for sure.”