French police have made an arrest in the alleged kidnapping of a 9-year-old girl from a family wedding, as reported by the Guardian.
Maëlys de Araujo was last seen in a play room in the village hall in Chambéry, a small town in the Le Pont-de-Beauvoisin region of southeastern France. Her family, which include her parents and her sister, had congregated to attend a wedding, a joyous affair that has now been marked by tragedy.
The DJ for the evening announced on the microphone that a child had disappeared, according to Independent UK.
“It was anguish. To see the disappearance of a nine-year-old, that’s not nothing,” a wedding guest told reporters. “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.”
Local prosecutor Dietlind Baudoin told reporters that police are “following all leads,” including making use of divers, police dogs and a helicopter, as the community searches frantically for the missing child.
The sniffer dogs were hot on the scent of one of the 9-year-old’s toys, which she usually carries with her. The regional police chief, Yves Marzin, said the dogs lost the scent from Maëlys’ toy in the parking lot outside of the venue.
“One of the possible theories is that little Maëlys left in a car, one way or another,” Marzin said.
Police are questioning the 180 people who attended the wedding as well as people at two other parties held in the town that Saturday night. Authorities have yet to announce the identity of the suspect that was taken into custody.
[Featured Image: Police handout]