Medical doctor, bone specialist and even insect expert: these experts try to solve the mystery surrounding the death of Emile (2.5) | Abroad


After the discovery of the remains of missing toddler Emile (2.5) in the French hamlet of Haut-Vernet, an entire team of experts is feverishly working to clarify the mystery surrounding his death. They include a medical doctor and a forensic anthropologist who knows everything about human bones, and even insect and plant experts.


03-04-24, 15:40

Latest update:
4:35 PM

BFMTV, Libération, Ouest-France

LOOK. Some of Emile’s clothes (2.5) were also found near the place where his remains were located

According to the French police, around a hundred people have been active at the site since Monday. They are assisted by a dog team, which is specialized in finding human remains.

Emile. © Still VTM

A leading role in this phase of the investigation is reserved for the experts of the IRCGN (Institut de Recherche Criminelle de la Gendarmerie Nationale). They will send forensic anthropologists to the scene, who will examine Emile’s bones in the hope of learning more about the precise circumstances of his death. The more of the skeleton is recovered, the better.

Forensic anthropologists must also determine whether the found body has been at the site the entire time, or whether it may have been moved by a human or an animal. It is important to find the exact place where the body decayed because it contains important clues to the time of death.

Body temperature

If a body is found quickly, a medical examiner can calculate exactly when someone died based on, for example, body temperature and rigor mortis. If a body has been there for a long time or only consists of a skeleton, this is impossible and insect and plant experts can help.


For example, insect experts examine which insects can be found near the body and at what stage of development they are. After all, insects approach a decomposing body in a specific order and their development can be placed on a timeline. Based on this and taking into account, among other things, the weather, specialists can count back to the moment of someone’s death.

Soil samples are also taken, which can afterwards be compared with the soil on, for example, a suspect’s shoes. The soil is then examined for pollen profiles and bacterial composition.


Emile was last seen on July 8 last year. He had just arrived for the summer holidays at his grandparents’ holiday home in Haut-Vernet. On Sunday, the Aix-en-Provence public prosecutor’s office reported that remains had been found and that DNA tests showed that they were Emile’s bones.

“These are bite marks”: prosecutor reveals more details about the found skull of French toddler Emile (2.5)

Skull and teeth of French toddler Émile (2.5) found in Haut-Vernet, parents react: “This heartbreaking news was to be feared”

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: Medical doctor bone specialist insect expert experts solve mystery surrounding death Emile


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