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Pet dog leads French murderer to police

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10:43 CET+01:00

A missing man has been arrested for strangling and dismembering his girlfriend, after his dog inadvertently helped police to track him down.

After Marion Bouchard’s parents had not heard from their daughter for several weeks, they raised the alarm with police.

Bouchard, who was a 21-year-old waitress in Dijon, was officially reported missing on February 8th.

Police immediately questioned the woman’s boyfriend, Fabien Souvigné, 23, at the couple’s apartment on the day after Bouchard was reported missing, and on February 10th.

On both occasions, Souvigné claimed that his girlfriend was out shopping.

The next day, the man took off, leaving his bank card and mobile phone behind and taking his beloved dog with him. Police launched a search investigation, and reported the dog’s identification number to veterinaries and animal shelters nationwide, alerting them that the owner was wanted on the suspicion of murder.

The man allegedly became separated from the dog while on the run, and on Wednesday decided to take his chances and ask for help. This decision would ultimately lead to his capture.

The man asked staff in a nearby animal shelter, SPA of Gennevilliers, northern Paris, if they knew the whereabouts of his pet, according to Le Parisien newspaper. 

When the woman behind the counter checked the dog’s identification number, she realized she was standing face to face with a wanted murderer, and alerted the police.

The man was promptly arrested, without violence. He has since given the gruesome details of the murder, and told police exactly where they could find the woman’s body.

“It is said that the acts of violence occurred during the night of the 15th of January. In the middle of a quarrel, he felt threatened by a knife that the victim was yielding, and he proceeded to strangle her,” said prosecutor Eric Lallement at a press conference in Dijon’s city court on Thursday, according to newspaper Le Bien Public.

“He lived several days with the corpse of the young woman, and then he decided to dispose of it in Dijon, around the end of January or the beginning of February,” he said.

The man allegedly used a knife to cut the body into at least three pieces, and then used a shopping trolley to aid in disposing of the body parts. The man stashed the woman’s bust in a vacant lot, one of her legs in a park, and the other leg in a nearby square.

Her body was recovered on Thursday, from the three separate locations in Dijon, eastern France, in accordance with Souvigné’s confession. Her parents have been notified.

An autopsy is being carried out on the body, and forensic investigators continue to search the couple’s apartment.

The man is set to appear in court on Friday.

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