Home Uncategorized Horror of little Emile and the startling similarities to BBC’s The Missing:...

Horror of little Emile and the startling similarities to BBC’s The Missing: A small boy vanishes on holiday, only to be found dead after prolonged search… but questions remain over the child’s remains – just like James Nesbitt drama

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The discovery of French toddler Émile Soleil’s body close to his grandparents’ home in a French Alpine village last week has done little to answer the many questions remaining over the two-year-old’s disappearance.

Mystery has surrounded the case for months, prompting a number of theories as to what may have happened to the little boy – with the reason behind his disappearance still unclear.

Many have noticed chilling parallels between the case and hit drama The Missing, starring James Nesbitt and Frances O’Connor, in which a young boy vanishes while on holiday with his family in France.

The BBC series sees a young boy vanish, with his disappearance unexplained and speculation over his whereabouts for years before he is eventually confirmed dead.

Émile, who lived with his parents near Marseille but had been on holiday at his grandparents’ home in the rural Haut Vernet of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region, went missing last July. 

Émile Soleil's body was discovered close to his grandparents' home in a French Alpine village last week

Émile Soleil’s body was discovered close to his grandparents’ home in a French Alpine village last week 

Many have noticed chilling parallels between the case and hit BBC drama The Missing, in which a young boy vanishes while on holiday with his family in France

Many have noticed chilling parallels between the case and hit BBC drama The Missing, in which a young boy vanishes while on holiday with his family in France 

The road to Haut-Vernet is blocked by a gendarmerie checkpoint at the village of Le Vernet, France, pictured on Sunday

The road to Haut-Vernet is blocked by a gendarmerie checkpoint at the village of Le Vernet, France, pictured on Sunday

A major search operation was launched involving hundreds of police officers of the surrounding area, which has now tragically culminated in the discovery of the two-year-old’s remains.

There had been no trace of the toddler since he went missing eight months ago, with investigators refusing to rule out any theory for the tragedy, including abduction and murder.

Despite police conducting a ‘thorough search’, it was eventually hikers who found Émile’s bones on Saturday in the idyllic Alpine hamlet of Le Vernet, before handing them over to police. 

A source close to the investigation told MailOnline that only part of the body was found, with some bones and the skull being recovered.

Forensic investigators were continuing to analyse the skull and bones that were found, but have not yet given a cause of death.

Le Vernet’s mayor François Balique told Le Figaro newspaper last week that Emile’s remains were located ‘on a path between the Church and Chapel’ of the village – an area he said had previously ‘been thoroughly searched by gendarmes’ with a ‘tooth comb’.

He said it was ‘absolutely incomprehensible’ that Émile got into trouble by himself.

‘I can’t help but believe that an adult is involved in this matter. Émile would never have gone alone to where he was found,’ Mr Balique said.

This adds an extremely disturbing element to the progress of the investigation, said the source, suggesting the remains had been deposited there some time after Émile’s disappearance.

‘It’s unlikely animals would bring human remains back into the village where someone went missing.

‘This leads to the theory that a person has brought Émile’s remains back, and potentially very recently,’ the source said.

In The Missing, Tony experiences every parent’s worst nightmare as he loses sight of his son during a visit to a crowded outdoor bar to watch a World Cup match.

Nesbitt and O’Connor starred in the first series of the 2014 show as a couple struggling to come to terms eight years after their son’s abduction.

In a shock twist it was revealed that missing boy Ollie was not abducted, but had been bundled ‘lifeless’ into a car by a hit-and-run driver who thought he’d killed the child.

The boy’s mother accepts he is dead but the father relentlessly continues his search for Ollie because a body is never found.

Nesbitt and O'Connor starred in the first series of the show as a couple struggling to come to terms eight years after their son's abduction

Nesbitt and O’Connor starred in the first series of the show as a couple struggling to come to terms eight years after their son’s abduction

He becomes a man obsessed and is sucked into a years-long search for his missing son, fracturing his marriage and sending him to the brink of self-destruction.

Comparisons have been drawn with the show throughout the real life case after French police’s previous admission that they had ‘no clues’ as to how little Emile disappeared.

At one point, reports even stated that officials were investigating whether Emile could have been ‘hit by car or a tractor’, and his body taken away.

Speaking as the investigation continues this week, national gendarmerie spokesperson Marie-Laure Pezant said anthropologists who are also ‘specialists in soil analysis’ are studying the site where his partial remains were found.

‘We have experts from the gendarmerie’s criminal research institute who travelled to Haut-Vernet to be able to analyse the discovery area,’ she said during a press briefing today, according to Radio France . ‘This research will start with them today.’

Volunteers take part in the search operation for Emile on July 10, 2023

Volunteers take part in the search operation for Emile on July 10, 2023

She said the anthropologists hope to ‘identify whether or not these bones were on site or whether they could have been brought back by different means: a human person, an animal which would have transported them or the weather conditions which would have modified the ground and which would have moved them so far.’

Pezant recognised there is ‘a tiny chance’ investigators missed the body when they carried out their previous searches.

She added: ‘We had committed a lot of resources but given the configuration of the place with the abundant vegetation in July, it could have complicated the research and we could, perhaps, have missed it. It’s a hypothesis that exists. Then, there is also the possibility that these bones were later brought back to the area.’

When Emile disappeared last year, his grandparents were spending their summer at their holiday home which they had purchased back in 2000 in the small village in the heart of the Trois-Évêchés massif.

French gendarmes take part in the search operation for two-year-old Emile in July 2023

French gendarmes take part in the search operation for two-year-old Emile in July 2023

On the day, eight of the grandparents’ ten grandchildren were at the house who, aside from two-year-old Émile, were seven to 18 years old.

That morning some of Émile’s uncles and aunts, who were also at the house, were busy building a cabin nearby as a place where the children could play.

By the afternoon, as far as the adults at the house were concerned, Émile was happily playing in the garden of his grandparents’ home.

However, as it reached 5pm, the family was getting ready to leave the house for a walk when Émile took advantage of the inattention, officials have since said. His grandparents went to put him in the car, but found he was no longer in the garden.

Now their son’s body has finally been discovered, Émile’s parents, Marie and Colomban Soleil, have spoken out, telling of their ‘pain and sorrow’ in a statement provided to press on Easter Sunday via their lawyer Jerome Triomphe.

‘This heartbreaking news was feared… (They) know on this Resurrection Sunday that Émile watches over them in the light and tenderness of God. 

‘Marie and Colomban would like to thank all those who helped and supported them as well as the investigating judges and investigators for their work, their professionalism, their personal commitment and their humanity which were of great comfort to them, in recent months and in particular on this day… But the pain and sorrow remain’.

‘The time has come for mourning, contemplation and prayer.’



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