Pet dog leads French murderer to police

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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Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

Paris police on Tuesday fished a man out of the Seine river, which he jumped into after he rammed a car into a Valentino store and robbed dozens of luxury handbags.

Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

The 24-year-old suspect smashed into the store around 2am on the high-end Rue Saint-Honoré, a police source said.

He grabbed as many as 30 luxury handbags and other items before attempting to flee in the car.

The man then failed to stop when a police patrol gave chase after spotting him near the central Paris Opéra.

He abandoned the car on Place de la Concorde at the end of the Champs-Elysées, the police source said, before plunging into the nearby river Seine.

But river police quickly fished him out and placed him under arrest.

A source familiar with the case said that the “entirety” of the stolen items had been found.

A second source told AFP that “around 30” handbags – which Valentino lists on its website at between €1,000 and €3,000 – were found in his car.

The suspect now faces an investigation for charges including aggravated robbery and refusal to comply with police, Paris prosecutors said.