News Sophie Le Tan: an incomplete skeleton that experts will...

Sophie Le Tan: an incomplete skeleton that experts will have to "make speak"


After the discovery on Wednesday Sophie Le Tan's "incomplete skeleton", disappeared for over a year, it is now up to experts to "make the bones speak" to determine the circumstances of his assassination, which Jean-Marc Reiser remains the main suspect.

"I have nothing that connects this death to Jean-Marc Reiser other than the elements that I had initially and which allowed the investigating magistrate to put him in examination" for assassination in September 2018, insisted Monday the prosecutor of Strasbourg, Yolande Renzi, during a press conference, while recognizing that it was a "decisive moment" in the investigation.

Six days after the fortuitous discovery of bones by a group of walkers in the communal forest of Rosheim (Bas-Rhin), about thirty kilometers southwest of Strasbourg, neither the date nor the cause of the death of the student are still known.

"It will be up to the experts to talk about these bones using all the new technologies," Renzi said.

In addition to the certainty provided by the DNA that some of these bones – but not the skull, the analysis of a tooth requiring more time – belonged to the 20-year-old girl, the most important element revealed in this day is a "sharp and clean section" of a femur that "is not the work of a predator" animal.

The magistrate evoked an "instrumental section", without wishing to establish a link with the saw carrying traces of blood of the girl found at Jean-Marc Reiser.

The prosecutor of Strasbourg told the journalists the discovery of a skull, which could have been moved by an animal, then, "a few tens of meters" away, a "tumulus of about 3 meters by 3 meters including at its summit a pit (…) covered with branches and stones ".

The investigators discovered "an incomplete skeleton" including "a trunk" and "a piece of pelvis with a femur head" as well as "dark hair".

Scanner, medical imaging, toxicological analyzes: all available techniques will now be mobilized to understand "what could have happened before death and remains marked in the body and in the bones".

The Rosheim Forest had not been thoroughly researched following the disappearance of the young woman.

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Jean-Marc Reiser was identified thanks to his phone, but "the investigators work on telephone data that give a zone of emission, not a precise geographical place", explained the interregional director of the judicial police, Béatrice Brun.

Research must continue in this forest to try to find other parts of the body or "clues incriminating the person who has placed there," said Renzi.

Daughter of Vietnamese refugees, Sophie Le Tan had disappeared on September 7, 2018, her 20th birthday, when she was going to visit an apartment in the suburbs of Strasbourg alone.

The only suspect, 59-year-old Jean-Marc Reiser, who had posted the real estate ad to which this unapologetic student had responded, was arrested a few days later.

Already convicted of rape, Jean-Marc Reiser had also acquitted the benefit of the doubt for the disappearance in Strasbourg in the 1980s of a young woman whose body was never found. In the Tan case, he was indicted for murder, kidnapping and forcible confinement.

He initially denied having met the young woman, before admitting, confronted with the material elements – the traces of blood of Sophie Le Tan found at home, on clothes and a saw – that she had come to her apartment . But he claims to have treated her for a hand injury before she leaves.

He had once again claimed his innocence at his last audition on October 5th.

"I do not think that the investigating magistrate has already planned (a new) interrogation," Ms. Renzi said on Monday.

Jean-Marc Reiser "has not changed at all his position in relation to the factual charges and his involvement in this unfortunate story," Francis Metzger, one of his lawyers, told AFP on Saturday.


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