The body of a 12-year-old girl who went missing was founded stuffed in a suitcase in Paris close to her home, with the murderer leaving a chilling bizarre clue --- the numbers 1 and 0 "placed" on her corpse, authorities said. A murder probe has been launched into the death of the girl - known only as Lola.
According to the police, the girl's throat was slashed before her body was wrapped in a plastic bag and stuffed in the suitcase. The final image of the girl has also been revealed after it was captured in CCTV footage taken moments before her death.
According to Fox News and the Independent, the 12-year-old French girl's wrists and feet were tied with tape, with her throat slashed when her body was found in the suitcase. She appeared to have died from asphyxiation, according to authorities.
Since then, at least four persons have been detained for interrogation in connection with the case, but no arrests have been made yet. According to a police source cited by French network BFMTV, she also had the digits "1" and "0" imprinted on her lifeless body -- they weren't painted or cut but were rather applied by a "device."
On Friday, the girl's mother went to the local police station in the 19th arrondissement of the French capital and reported her missing.
The girl's father, who is also the building's caretaker, spotted his daughter with a lady in her 20s on building security camera tape and informed the police. The woman then appeared on the footage carrying a suitcase. Cops later found evidence of a kidnapping in the basement of the building and started an investigation.
Around 11:30 p.m. Friday, police received a call reporting a suspicious suitcase on Rue d'Hautpoul, several streets away from the family's home.
She had several cuts on her throat and her face was covered with tape. A post-mortem examination on Saturday concluded that she had died of asphyxiation.
A disturbing security camera footage of the incident has now surfaced, which deepens the mystery. The footage shows the young girl entering her building behind a lady, who witnesses allege was subsequently spotted lugging the luggage while wearing white clothing and carrying what seems to be a suitcase.
The suspect and her sister were taken into custody on Saturday morning in Bois-Colombe (Hauts-de-Seine), franceinfo learned from a person with knowledge of the situation. The suspect was seen on CCTV wearing white trainers, light leggings, and a grey sweater.
The suspect's sibling is also in her twenties.
Detectives are currently looking through CCTV footage that showed the suspect carrying a suitcase while standing outside Lola's building.
The security camera footage also captured the suspect and the victim's entry into Lola's building around 3:20 p.m.
Police believe the suitcase seen on the surveillance video is the identical one that was later discovered that evening, just a few streets away on Rue d'Hautpoul, holding Lola's body. Two hours before Lola disappeared, a local resident told BFMTV that he saw the suspect dragging the suitcase.
"We saw her go into the building, she was all alone... we saw her half an hour later with a suitcase, she was speaking a bit with everyone, she seemed to be a bit crazy," the resident said.
He continued by claiming that the suspect casually wandered into a patisserie, bought a croissant, and then dragged the suitcase away.
"She was struggling to carry the suitcase, we thought it was because it was heavy items and she was quite slim - we never thought it was a body... It was 5pm and she was walking around with that suitcase, she even left it outside a cafe and went to the bakery opposite to buy a croissant as if nothing had happened," the witness claimed.
However, police are yet to make any arrests although several people have been detained for questioning. The public prosecutor told BFMTV that evidence of a struggle had been found in one of Lola's building's basement rooms.
Officials in Paris stated that Lola's school, Georges-Brassens, as well as nearby schools in the region, will provide psychological help to staff and students.