Mathis Jouanneau, Marion Wagon … Those children whose disappearance has never been solved

On the occasion of World Missing Children’s Day this Wednesday, looks back on these disappearances of minors who have never been solved and whose traces have never been found.

Some stories take a long time before an end. And some mysteries still remain whole, sometimes several decades after being bound. On the occasion of World Missing Children’s Day, Wednesday 25 May, the Children’s Rights Fund is mobilizing to make the public aware of these cases, which, if resolved quickly, could also give children’s investigators a hard time.

While Britain for 15 years has been looking for an answer to little Maddie McCann’s disappearance in 2007 in Portugal, France has also had its share of unsolved disappearances of children. Yannis Moré, Marion Wagon, Estelle Mouzin … These cases, which go back several decades, have never been clarified.

Yannis Moré, who died in 1989

The case had moved a great deal in the Alpes de Haute-Provence. While enjoying a cabin with his brothers in front of his house in the village of Ganagobie, 3-year-old Yannis Moré suddenly disappeared on the morning of May 2, 1989.

Only traces of the little boy, his clothes, his shoes and his chain are found more than a year later several hundred meters from his parents, confirming the hypothesis of an abduction.

Photo taken on May 5, 1989 by little Yannis Moré, who disappeared in 1989 at the age of three.
Photo taken on May 5, 1989 by little Yannis Moré, who disappeared in 1989 at the age of three. © AFP

Despite intensive searches in the forest, from erroneous clues to false accusations, investigators have never found his clue, nor found the culprit.

Marion Wagon, disappeared in 1996

She has long been nicknamed “the granddaughter with milk cartons”, and her photo has been distributed on millions of packages to find her. Marion Wagon disappeared in Agen in Lot-et-Garonne on November 14, 1996. While she only had 400 meters to reach her home when she left school, the 10-year-old girl was not there.

The investigation conducted by the investigators and the many summonses of witnesses will do nothing: impossible to understand how Marion Wagon was able to disappear in the middle of the day when she was on her way home for lunch.

Marion Wagon, disappeared on November 14, 1996 in Agen.
Marion Wagon, disappeared on November 14, 1996 in Agen. © AFP

In April 2021, a new investigating judge ordered new DNA samples to see if the case could be brought closer to Michel Fourniret. But again, the research is not unequivocal. The case has also just been taken up by the judges of the new “cold case” department.

In a documentary broadcast Tuesday night on W9, Michel Wagon agrees for the first time in years to returning to his daughter’s disappearance. A new hope to restart the investigation, for Me George Catala, lawyer for the parents of those who disappeared. “We have a chance,” he said Southwestand added that several avenues were explored.

Cécile Vallin, who died in 1997

The last time she was seen, Cécile Vallin was on a secondary road at the exit of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in Savoie, where she lived. The 17-year-old girl, who was to pass her matriculation exam the next day, then gave no sign of life.

At the time, as in the disappearance of many young people, it is the runaway hypothesis that is favored. But the investigation never made it possible to determine under what circumstances the young girl evaporated.

Cécile Vallin disappeared in 1997 in Saint-Jean-De-Maurienne, Savoie.
Cécile Vallin disappeared in 1997 in Saint-Jean-De-Maurienne, Savoie. © BFM TV

As for Marion Wagon, a check was made to find out if a link could be traced to Michel Fourniret, who was present in Savoie at the time. But that leadership did not materialize either.

“Twenty-five years later, we do not turn the page on the disappearance of his minor daughter,” Jonathan Olivier, his father, testified in January on BFMTV.

· Estelle Mouzin, disappeared in 2003

If the little girl’s disappearance seems to have found an answer with Michel Fourniret’s confessions, the failure of the last excavations and the serial killer’s death leave an aftertaste of unfinished business. For 21 years after Estelle Mouzin disappeared, her body has still not been found.

Estelle Mouzin, 9, disappeared on January 9, 2003, on her way between school and her home. The first investigations, however, were complicated by the weather conditions, the snow made any search for footprints on the ground impossible.

Estelle Mouzin as she disappeared (left) and aged by computer (right)
Estelle Mouzin as she disappeared (left) and aged by computer (right) © Police – AFP

According to Monique Olivier, the serial killer’s ex-wife, the latter had kidnapped, kidnapped and raped the little girl in a house in Issancourt-et-Rumel that belonged to her sister before she killed her. Traces of partial DNA from Estelle Mouzin had been found there on a mattress.

But last excavations in the Ardennes to find his body after Michel Fourniret’s confessions, which took place in the presence of Monique Olivier last autumn, failed.

Mathis Jouanneau, who died in 2011

A lawsuit, a verdict, but answers that are still missing. In 2011, 8-year-old Mathis Jouanneau disappeared in Mondeville, near Caen, in Calvados. His father, Sylvain Jouanneau, who was to bring him back to his mother at the end of the day, also remained untraceable for some time before being placed in Villeneuve-lès-Avignon in Gard. He ended up admitting that he had left with Mathis.

Forsaken in 2015 and sentenced to 20 years in prison for kidnapping and forced imprisonment, he would never say where his son was.

Mathis Jouanneau, who died at the age of 8 in September 2011.
Mathis Jouanneau, who disappeared as an 8-year-old in September 2011. © AFP

However, more than ten years after Mathis Jouanneau’s disappearance, a new leader has relaunched the investigation. Following the broadcast of an episode of Calls for Witnesses on the M6 ​​on September 29, three witnesses claimed to have seen a homeless person in the streets of Avignon that closely resembled the old portrait of Mathis that had been broadcast. So far, however, the investigation has not made it possible to determine whether it is in fact the same person.

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