Police fear a 9-year-old girl who vanished at a wedding may have been bundled into a car by kidnappers, it has been claimed.
Maëlys De Araujo was last seen at around 3am local time in the early hours of Sunday at a village hall in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, Isère, southeastern France.
When her family couldn’t find her, it was first assumed she may have fallen asleep in a corner while playing hide-and-seek with friends.
But after an hour searching in vain, police were called and a major investigation launched.
Maëlys was at the event with her mum, who was the bride’s cousin, her dad and her older sister.But after 48 hours without a sign of the girl, a formal kidnapping investigation is underway which has gripped the French public.
According to France Bleu, officers fear a criminal act because sniffer dogs found Maëlys’ scent in the hall and out into the car park – but it ended there.