Teen phone hoax sparks missing corpse inquiry

Police in Toulouse launched a lengthy investigation after a fifteen-year-old sent a hoax text message about a missing person.

“I’ve hidden the body, what do we do now?” read the text message. An engineer, unnamed in the French press, received this unusual text message on June 6. He didn’t recognise the number of the sender and called the police, French regional daily Le Telegramme reports.

Officers immediately opened an investigation into the suspected concealment of a corpse. Over the next couple of days, they combed mobile phone directories and located the whearebouts of the sender of the message, over 700 kilometres away in the north-western town of Lorient. 

Police then visited the scene from where the text message was sent: a street near Lorient hospital. But no missing persons or bodies were reported. 

The police then confronted the owner of the mobile phone, a fifty-year old man who does not have a criminal record. Five days after the engineer received the mysterious text message, investigators pay the suspect a visit at his workplace. He denies having sent the message. 

But a check into the man’s background eventually led to the culprit – his 15-year-old son admitted he sent the text message. According to the Telegramme, he told officers he took up a bet on Facebook and sent the mysterious message to an unknown number. Police say they gave the teenager a stern rebuke, but did not arrest him. 

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Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”