ten years later, where is the investigation?

Kidnapped on September 2, 2011 when he was 8 years old, the little boy is still untraceable. Behind bars, his father refuses to say where he is, much to the mother’s dismay.

He should have celebrated his 18th birthday with his family last June. Mathis Jouanneau, 8 years old at the time of the facts, was kidnapped on September 2, 2011 in Caen, in Calvados, exactly ten years ago. His captor? His father, Sylvain Jouanneau. The latter, a former executive who became a mason, never returned the child to his mother, from whom he had been divorced since 2007. He was sentenced in 2015 to 20 years in prison for having kidnapped and kidnapped his son but still refuses today. ‘hui to say where is Mathis. “He is waiting for the end of his sentence to go find him. In the meantime he won’t say anything», Slips to Figaro his lawyer, Me Véronique Demillière.

It all took place over a weekend, while the father was on call. Mathis has just returned to school and, as agreed by his visiting and accommodation rights, he comes to pick up his son when he leaves school. It’s Friday and he’s taking Mathis to see his paternal grandparents. This was the last time the little boy was seen alive.

The child entrusted to “his Muslim brothers”

Sunday, September 4, at 7 p.m., the alert is given by the mother, Nathalie Barré, who is worried about not seeing her son come home after his weekend with his father. The latter was to return the child at 6 p.m. After an hour of waiting, she files a complaint at the police station. She says she is very worried about the mental state of her ex-husband. The investigators initially think of a family dispute but launch a worrying disappearance device.

The father’s phone quickly terminates and the investigators note that Sylvain Jouanneau goes down from Normandy to the Pyrenees. After three months on the run, he was finally arrested near Avignon, on the roads to Compostela. Without his son. “He didn’t think he would be arrested. He was on his way to a meeting he had fixed for one of his ex-companions, Emmanuelle. He wanted to sort out some things with her and thought to find Mathis afterwards, and go back with him, but I don’t know where», Reports Me Demillière.

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In his camper van, among children’s toys, puzzles and cakes, there is a receipt from a bookstore, where three children’s books on the Koran were purchased. “Sylvain Jouanneau converted to Islam because he was planning to marry a young Moroccan woman. At the trial he said he had plans to convert his son. But these are elements that have remained fairly peripheral in the file», Assures the lawyer of the father. However, to the question: “where is the child?“Sylvain Jouanneau replies having confided it earlier”to a trusted third party“, Sometimes to”his Muslim brothers».

Investigators dig the trail of Morocco. In vain. “In any case, everything that Sylvain Jouanneau may have said has never been proven by an objective and factual support.», Comments to the Figaro Me Aline Lebret, the mother’s lawyer, who notes that, according to psychiatrist Daniel Zagury, who assessed him, the latter would be suffering from Medea syndrome. Understand: he kidnapped his son to make his mother suffer. “Experts believe there has been infanticide», Adds the lawyer.

Investigation against X for homicide

While the father remains silent as to the whereabouts of his son, when asked about the kidnapping, he does not deny the facts. “The father fully acknowledged the facts with which he was charged with regard to the investigation for kidnapping and confinement of a child. But the case is not closed because, in parallel, we are opening an investigation against X for homicide, which is still active today.», Explains to Figaro the public prosecutor of Caen Amélie Cladière.

And for good reason: despite the father’s assertions, there is nothing to confirm that the child is still alive. “We are forced to wonder about this aspect because, after this day when Mathis was seen with his grandparents, we no longer have any proof of life.», Adds the prosecutor. Large-scale research is launched: investigators go to Switzerland, the United States, Morocco, Sweden and the Vatican, but no trace of the little boy.

“What really decided my client was when his son told him that he wanted to live with him and that he did not want to go back to his mother anymore”

Me Véronique Demillière, lawyer for Sylvain Jouanneau

During the investigation, the mother learns that Sylvain Jouanneau had already thought of kidnapping Mathis, but his partner at the time had dissuaded him from doing so. “The trigger was the suspension of his rights for a while“, Explains the lawyer of the father,”because the mother accused my client of mistreatment: Sylvain Jouanneau had punished his son by asking him to write lines. But what really decided my client was when his son told him that he wanted to live with him and that he didn’t want to go back to his mother anymore. Nathalie Barré asserted the opposite. It’s the word of one against the word of the other“, She continues, adding that”the child had become a bargaining chip and a means of settling scores». «For me, the only victim is Mathis, who grows up without his father and without his mother, in unknown conditions ”, blows the penalist.

For several weeks, new investigations have been underway, “over a longer or shorter time», Amélie Cladière told us. According to our information, a new call for witnesses should also be launched at the end of September.


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