PARIS – French authorities have handed preliminary murder charges to a 34-year-old man in the case of a 9-year-old girl who went missing from a wedding celebration last summer in France.
Grenoble prosecutor Jean-Yves Coquillat said Thursday that suspect Nordahl Lelandais, who was already charged with kidnapping the girl, is now also suspected of murdering her.
Coquillat said Lelandais denies any wrongdoing or involvement in the disappearance of the girl. He also said the girl's body hasn't been found so far.
The girl, identified as Maelys De Araujo, was last seen on Aug. 27 at a village hall where she was attending a wedding celebration with her parents in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, 85 kilometers (53 miles) from Lyon in southeastern France. Lelandais was also a guest at the party.