Just a few hours after Nordahl Lelandais confessed to murdering Maëlys de Araujo, her mother Jennifer de Araujo published a short, moving letter on Facebook.
“It took five and a half months for this monster to finally speak,” she wrote.
“You, the murderer of my daughter: Maëlys will haunt you night and day in your prison until you die and go to hell.
“Maëlys had life her life in front of her you tore it away from us, we will never see her again because of you, I will not be able to hold her in my arms and tell her how much I love her.”
The letter went on to speak to Maëlys, with her mother expressing her profound regret that she was not able to prevent her death.
“My little angel, I have not been able to protect you from this predator and this guilt will stay with me for a long time,” she wrote.
De Araujo continued on a similarly heartrending note.
“Maëlys, I am proud of you my pet, you are so beautiful, so smiley, you are my wonder, my ray of sunshine, you will always be in my heart. […] We miss you so much […]. Four hearts united for life forever.”
The post, which received 22,000 reactions and was shared more than 10,000 times in just a few hours, was accompanied by photos of Maëlys with her family.
Lelandais, the only suspect in the case of the disappearance of the eight-year-old girl, confessed to having killed her on the night of 26 to 27 August 2017.
Having spent months denying the crime, Lelandais admitted to having killed her “by mistake” and having hidden the body afterwards, prosecutor Jean-Yves Coquillat told reporters in the town of Grenoble.
The mother of the young victim also shows relief at the confession of Lelandais, a 34-year-old former soldier, which means he “will not hurt anybody now”.
In December Lelandais was charged with the murder of Arthur Noyer, a 24-year-old soldier who was last seen in the early hours of April 12 hitchhiking in the town of Chambery after leaving a nightclub.
French prosecutors investigating the mysterious murder of a British family in the French Alps five years ago told The Local in December that they are “carrying out checks” to see if Lelandais was involved in the grim murders of Saad al-Hilli, his wife and mother-in-law and a French cyclist.