Research in Port-Leucate 2013 – RAYMOND ROIG / AFP

This may finally be a breakthrough in the mystery of the missing Perpignan. Fragments of bones which could be related to the case were found Friday evening on a beach of le Barcares (Pyrenees-Orientales), more than three years after the fact, we learn this Saturday from sources close to the investigation.

Location of Barcarès  (Pyrénées-Orientales)
Location of Barcares (Pyrenees-Orientales) – Google Maps

On 14 July 2013, a mother and her daughter, Marie-Josee Benitez, 53, and his daughter Allison, 19 years old, had disappeared. Their husband and father, Francisco Benitez, chief warrant officer of the French foreign Legion in Perpignan, had committed suicide twenty days later, after having proclaimed his innocence.

>> also read : Missing from Perpignan: track criminal official

on Friday, the prosecutor of Perpignan has opened an investigation to ” search for the causes of death “, following the discovery of remains in an area which had been frequented by Francisco Benitez, a-t-on learned from Me Etienne Nicolau, lawyer of the sister of Marie-Josee Benitez.

Discovered by a relative of the victims

This is the brother of Marie-Josée Bénitez, Eric Palin, who has himself discovered some bones at the edge of the pond Barcarès that, before alerting investigators. It had been directed by the indications of a witness. The location of the discovery is not far (less than 5 km) of Pine forest of Port-Leucate, where the initial research had been conducted.

>> also read : Perpignan: Two years after their disappearance, the body of Marie-Jose and Allison Bénitez remain unaccounted for

Five investigators of the judicial police in Perpignan were on the scene Friday evening and carried out excavations to extract, in the presence of a forensic doctor, effects, and bones, which have been placed under seals. On site, investigators have refused to comment, merely call for caution.

DNA analyses will be performed in the coming days but ” there are strong chances that one is in the presence of remains belonging to Marie-Josée or Allison Benitez because they were found in an area frequented by Mr. Benitez “, said ms. Nicolau.

The military was spent in this area

According to the advocate, intensive research had already been done on this zone, near the wastewater treatment plant in Port Leucate, as the mobile phone of Francisco Benitez had ” spoken “. The terminals of calls had revealed that the military had, in the days that followed the disappearance, frequented this place, away from the foreign Legion in Perpignan, where he resided.

A judicial investigation for “murder” had been opened in this case following the discovery (after the suicide of Benitez) for DNA of missing them in a freezer in the family home, and a washing machine in the barracks to which he had access.

In July 2015, Eric Palin had called for further investigations by requiring the approximation to the judicial two folders which would be involved Francisco Benitez, that is to say, the missing of Perpignan and the disappearance of the mistress of the legionnaire, Simone de Oliveira, on November 29, 2004 in Nîmes.

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