Riviera murder probe over bones found in sea

French police have opened a murder inquiry after the macabre and mysterious discovery of a skull inscribed with "death to paedophiles" and other bones belonging to at least four people in the sea close to the Riviera resort of Antibes.

Riviera murder probe over bones found in sea
Stephane Hirson (L) whose bones were among those found in the ocean just off the rocky Cap d'Antibes promontory. Photo (L): Estelle Magarner/AFP. Photo (R): pmo/Flickr.

The relics were recovered by police in February after an amateur diver came across the skull while searching for sea urchins just off the rocky Cap d'Antibes promontory.

Nine months later, DNA testing has enabled investigators to establish that one of the bones, part of an arm, belonged to Stephane Hirson, a psychologically disturbed teenager who disappeared from his home near Paris in February 1994.

But they have been left scratching their heads over the origin of the other bones, which they have established came from another man, two women and possibly one other person.

The skull, which came from a man aged at least 50, has proved particularly intriguing as it had a target sign drawn on it, together with the words "death to pedophiles" written in indelible ink.

"We are faced with a series of mysteries," admitted Georges Gutierrez, the prosecutor in the town of Grasse who will lead the investigation.

The opening of a murder probe enables local authorities to allocate more resources to try and get to the bottom of the mystery.

Further forensic tests are to be carried out to try and establish how long the bones had been in the sea and divers are to undertake a full-scale search of the area where they were found to establish if more remains lie in the depths of the Mediterranean.

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French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

French Border police at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris shot - and killed - man who was wielding a knife in the public area of the airport on Wednesday.

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

Border police reportedly shot a man with aggressive behaviour who brandished a knife in the public area of the Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris, on Wednesday morning, police and airport sources told AFP.

“This morning officers neutralised a threatening individual in possession of a knife at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport,” the Paris police department said on its Twitter account.

A source close to the investigation told BFMTV that the man – who was likely homeless – went towards the officers, despite being asked several times to put the knife down. In response, police shot the man in the abdomen, and the individual later died.

The incident took place in the busy, public area of terminal 2F around 8:20 am, when “a homeless man started bothering security agents and border police were called in to remove him”.

Initially the man left while yelling curses but he soon returned and brought out a knife, when one of the officers fired his weapon.

An AFP photographer who witnessed the scene said “a large person of colour brandished something that looked like a knife at the police”.

“He was ordered to stop but kept advancing toward them, and an officer fired a single shot.”

The man was quickly put on a stretcher and evacuated, the photographer said. 

Security forces have been on high alert for terrorist attacks since a wave of jihadist killings that have killed more than 250 people since 2015, often by so-called “lone wolves” who often target police.