“We will.” On July 14, 2013, Marie-Josee Benitez, 53, and her daughter Allison, 19 years old, will disappear, leaving a word, enigmatic. Their husband and father, Francisco Benitez, chief warrant officer of the French foreign Legion in Perpignan, do not alert the police that on the 22nd of July. It is quickly seen as suspect number 1. Two weeks later, he was found hanging in the barracks, after having left a letter and a video claiming his innocence and his love for his daughter.
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Going to a twist in the case of missing Perpignan? Fragments of human bones were found Friday evening on a beach of Barcarès (Pyrénées-Orientales). This discovery has triggered the resumption of research more than three years after the disappearance of a mother and her daughter. The public prosecutor of Perpignan has opened an investigation of fragrance to “search for the causes of death” following the discovery of remains in an area which had been frequented by the legionnaire, a-t-on learned from Me Etienne Nicolau, lawyer of the sister of Marie-Josee Benitez.
A discovery of the brother of one of the missing
On the indication of a witness, the brother of Marie-Josée, Eric Barbet, has discovered bones on the edge of the pond Barcarès before alerting investigators. “A person contacted me via the social networks, after having seen, in April 2015, long hair exceed a trash bag buried, says Eric Barbet. “She gave me a GPS point ( … ), and I fell on the bones that I have shown to two doctors general practitioners”, he said. According to him, among the five “pieces fairly damaged” that he has found and handed over to investigators three days after, there would be “a priori” a joint and a piece of forearm.
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 seal, has been a correspondent of the AFP.
according To Eric Barbet, five other samples were made up to 1.50 meter depth) and other excavations will be conducted from Monday.
A place frequented by Francisco Benitez
For the moment, the SRPJ declined to comment. On site, investigators were content to call for greater 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.
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, about thirty kilometers from the French foreign Legion in Perpignan.
The location of the excavation, a broad band sandy punctuated by groves between the pond Barcares and the Mediterranean sea, is an isolated, side pond, not visible to motorists, and only frequented by walkers.
A judicial investigation for “murder” had been opened in this case a month and a half after the double disappearance, and after the suicide of the legionnaire, since the DNA of the missing had been found in a freezer in the family home and in a washing machine of the barracks in which the suspect had access to.
Francisco Benitez had already been heard in 2004 in another case, that of the disappearance in Nîmes of his ex-mistress in brazil, which has never been found. It was in the instance of separation from Marie-Josée born Barbet and had a new relationship extra-marital with a Spanish to which he had given his last phone call before ending her days.