Six months after a 9-year-old disappeared without a trace from a wedding in the French Alps, her remains have been found.
Investigators found the skull and other remains of the missing girl, Maelys De Araujo, in a snow-covered ravine, the BBC reports.
According to French officials, a 34-year-old suspect, Nordahl Lelandais—who was a guest at the same wedding in Pont-de-Beauvoisin—led police to the location.
The former military dog trainer has admitted to killing Maëlys "involuntarily” and says he hid the body close to his house, returned to the party and later dumped the body.
Although Lelandais initially claimed he was innocent, the former soldier co-operated with police after a trace of the young girl’s blood was found in the boot of his car, prosecutor Grenoble Prosecutor Jean-Yves Coquillat told media.
The 34-year-old is also suspected of killing a soldier in the region months ago.
As The Telegraph reports, Maelys attended the wedding with her parents and family on August, 27. She was last seen at around 3am in a children’s room.
Helicopters, police dogs and divers scoured the surrounding areas for any sign of Maelys, who’s disappearance sparked national concern.
At the time of her disappearance, local prosecutor Dietlind Baudoin told reporters: "Given the time that has elapsed since the disappearance of the young Maelys and given the resources that have been sadly deployed in vain to find her, the criminal possibility can no longer be ruled out.”
According to the BBC, police interviewed almost all of the 180 guests at the wedding. A wedding guest recounted the tragic announcement on Sunday that Maelys was missing.
"The DJ for the evening announced on the microphone that a child had disappeared. Suddenly, everyone started searching, in the main hall and outside," she said.
"It was anguish. To see the disappearance of a nine-year-old, that's not nothing. We initially thought she must be asleep in a corner after a game of hide-and-seek. After an hour, as we'd found nothing, the police were alerted."