“We cannot accuse but that should draw attention when we realize that in five years, people with the same profile have disappeared” in the same sector, declared Friday May 13 on franceinfo Bernard Valézy, vice-president of the association Assistance and search for missing persons (ARPD), after a 36-year-old cold case was elucidated this week in Isère. According to him, Yves Chatain, the man who has just recognized the murder of Marie-Thérèse Bonfanti, in May 1986 in Pontcharra (Isère) could have committed others. He was indicted for “kidnapping, forcible confinement” and “murder” and placed in detention. There were indeed other homicides and disappearances at the same time and in this sector. This challenges the association Assistance and search for missing persons which, thanks to its volunteer investigators, has reopened the Bonfanti file. Its vice-president, Bernard Valézy, calls on franceinfo to do the same for these other cases which seem to be linked to him. “I think these are cases that will naturally be taken over, it seems logical to me,” he hopes. “It’s never too late, you can revive business a long time later, he assures. Admittedly, it’s much more difficult, much more uncertain, but when you have a case like this, even 20 or 30 years later, maybe we can know the truth.” In 1984, Marie-Agnès Cordonnier and Françoise Bruyère, two Belgian hitchhikers from Liège, disappeared. They were last seen about twenty kilometers from Pontcharra. Posters were put up around the area. The investigators at the time explored different leads (fugue, accident, crime) without result. In 1985, Marie-Ange Billoud, another 19-year-old hitchhiker, also disappeared. She was last seen exiting Pontcharra. His body has never been found. The Assistance and Search for Disappeared Persons association was not approached by the families of these women. A few years earlier, in 1981, Liliane Chevènement, a 41-year-old secretary, was found strangled with a wire a few hundred meters from Yves Chatain’s house. His murder has never been elucidated. As in the file on the death of Marie-Thérèse Bonfanti, Yves Chatain had been suspected, heard and then finally cleared. The Grenoble prosecutor tells franceinfo that it is too early to announce the reopening or not of these files. In the Bonfanti case, the search for the victim’s bones is about to begin, the indicted gave indications on the place where he would have deposited it. The profile of Yves Chatain will be examined. He had been convicted in the early 1980s for violence. He had assaulted a young woman on a bicycle when he was 14 years old. A few years later, then aged 20, he had tried to strangle a motorist. “You have to be honest. I was a police officer for 40 years. In the 1980s, missing persons cases did not have the same importance, we did not take the same interest in them as we do today. ” Bernard Valézy, vice-president of the ARPD at franceinfo But according to Bernard Valézy, “it has evolved, we must be delighted”. “There is an awareness of the public authorities, he affirms, one only has to see the creation of the national judicial pole for unsolved cases. So, we are more interested in it and that we can only be pleased.” The question of prescription arises in the case of the murder of Marie-Thérèse Bonfanti, resolved 36 years later. The statute of limitations is 10 years for murders committed before 2017, 20 years for those committed after that date. During his press conference on Thursday, Éric Vaillant, the Grenoble prosecutor spoke of “a complex legal debate to come”.
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