A hooded man, armed, motives unknown, has burst on Thursday night in a retirement home for the religious of Montferrier-sur-Lez, in the Hérault, near Montpellier, killing a seamstress 54-year-old before fleeing.
The main information to remember :
An armed man has burst on Thursday night in a retirement home for monks, near Montpellier.
A seamstress was killed by several blows of a knife.
The suspect, identified but whose motivations are unknown, is still being sought Friday.
An investigation was opened for “murder” and “assassination attempt”.
A woman killed. This is a health care aide of the establishment, named “The Oaks”, which gave the alarm to 21: 45. According to the narrative, very specific that it has provided to the gendarmes, it was the tour of the facility, when she fell nose to nose with an individual dressed in black and hooded that has been shaken up, tied up and gagged. The body without life of a woman of 54 years of age, was found by the gendarmes in the lingerie. According to the preliminary findings, she would have been killed at least three strokes of the knife. An autopsy should be carried out in the day Friday. His body was found tied up and gagged. The victim “was working for years on the quality of the sewing,” said prosecutor Christophe Barret at a press conference Friday afternoon in Montpellier, france.
weapons discoveries. The perpetrator is still at large.The investigators prefer “a local track, in the surroundings of this retirement home,” said the attorney, refusing to give further details at this stage” on the identity of the suspect. Thursday evening, investigators were “quickly” found a car about 200 yards from the retirement home, said the judge, confirming an information from Europe 1. This vehicle has been found, “a type weapon Airsoft, that takes balls of steel, so no live ammunition,” said Christophe Barret. The weapon dummy was in a bag. Other elements were found in the car, said the magistrate who did not wish to detail them.
A former paratrooper in 47 years. source close to the investigation, these elements are in particular patent military who have helped to identify a man of 47 years old living in a dozen of kilometers. This father of two children has served in the paratroopers, but it is not a military career, has there been yet specified. Without a job, he lived out of small jobs, including repairing bikes. “This man is dangerous and therefore it is important if ever it was spotted to the 17 in order to alert the services of the police force, said during the same press conference, general Jean-Philippe Lecouffe, deputy commander of the gendarmerie for the region of Occitania.
An important feature. A device of research has been put in place by the police to find the assailant on the run. The special unit of the gendarmerie deployed on site, the PSI-Sword, has searched the building until 00: 30. Throughout the night, the police searched the area, inspecting meticulously the subdivision that is adjacent to the retirement home. Dams have been installed in the vicinity of the scene of the murder with systematic archaeological excavations of the coffers of the vehicles. Teams from the Raid and the GIGN, the elite units of the national police and the gendarmerie, were also on site.
From 7: 30 am Friday, the scope of the search has been expanded. The area is raked with the help of dogs and helicopters of the gendarmerie. The health care aide, the only one to have seen the suspect, was able to provide investigators with a report specific to more focused searches.
According to Midi-Free, searches are ongoing in a nearby village of Montferrier-le-Lez. “Access to the targeted neighborhood has been cut off by the forces of law and order,” says the newspaper.
photo Credit : PASCAL GUYOT / AFP
The terrorist hypothesis not privileged. To the prosecutor Christophe Barret, there is nothing to suggest that he is a terrorist act. “There is no evidence to link the facts to the islamist terrorism”, the prosecutor stated Friday noon. France was stricken for almost two years by a wave of attacks by jihadist unprecedented. These attacks have left 238 people dead, including a priest killed in a full mass at the end of July in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, near Rouen.
sixty missionaries. This retirement home is a facility for men and women religious belonging to the Society of african Missions (SMA). Sixty missionaries of Africa as well as six or seven lay people and six or seven nuns are welcomed, according to the mayor of Montferrier-sur-Lez Michel Fraysse. The EHPAD (accommodation facility for dependent elderly people) is located at a place called Baillarguet, outside the village of Montferrier near Montpellier. All are free and have been able to return to their rooms Friday morning.
The man broke into the retirement home “The Oaks” before 22h. Photo credit : Google Maps.
“No alarm, no guardian.” the companion of the victim arrived on scene around 1 on Friday, very worried after hearing the information about the drama and not being able to attach it to the phone. “She is a party to 8h in the evening, then it will not return at 6: 30 in the morning. It was a kindness, how they can hurt him like that ? She is dead and I am destroyed, it’s terrible,” said the man in his fifties to the press. “We had already talked about it, I said ‘anyone can go here’ and this is the case. There was nothing protected, there was no alarm, there was no warden, there’s nothing.”, he said.
The Society of african missions (SMA) is a community of catholic missionaries in european, african and asian, that has a thousand members, priests and laity, according to its website. The SMA has five “houses” in France of the same type as that of Montferrier-on-Lez.