Saturday, May 21

Maëlys case: what did the reconstruction of the crime allow?

Nordahl Lelandais, 38, who must answer from January 31 in Grenoble for the murder of little Maëlys, has already been sentenced for the murder of young Corporal Noyer. He is also suspected of sexual assault on three minors.

After the disappearance of Maëlys, on the night of August 26 to 27, 2017, the search was intense. It took almost six months for Nordahl Lelandais, cornered by material evidence, to confess in February 2018 to beatings and “involuntary” death. The reconstruction of the murder was an important step in the investigations. It was to allow Nordahl Lelandais’ statements to be put to the test. Is he telling the whole truth? Does his story present any contradictions in view of the reconstruction?

An important moment for the investigation

Organized in September 2018, this first reconstitution retraces his round trips on the evening of the wedding, from the village hall to the neighboring village where his parents lived and where he says he temporarily concealed the body before returning to the wedding, then to the massif. de la Chartreuse where the remains of the girl were finally found. Maëlys’ parents are there. “It is an important moment for the judicial investigation and it is also a very important moment for the family to try to have explanations” on the course of events, declared Colonel Yves Marzin, commander of the Isère gendarmerie group.

This reconstruction takes place in the middle of the night so that the conditions are similar to those of the evening of the disappearance of little Maëlys. The convoy leaves the parking lot of the village hall. Lelandais installs little Maëlys in his Audi A3, on the passenger side. How did the child agree to enter the vehicle of this complete stranger? According to Nordahl, it was Maëlys who insisted on going to see his dogs after he showed her photos on his mobile phone. He is convinced that she obtained the authorization of her mother, he assures.

Several shots given in the car according to Lelandais

What happened next in that car? The ex-soldier claims that Maëlys starts crying for no reason as they are on their way to his home. It was then that he inflicted several blows on the child. While during these previous interrogations, he had mentioned only one shot, this time he speaks of 3 to 4 shots. Beatings so violent that the young girl would have fallen unconscious. Several media report that the violence reproduced during the reconstitution is such that the mannequin, which represents the child, loses its head under the shock.

Seeing the child unconscious, he stops. He takes his pulse. According to him, it is already too late. He lays his lifeless body near his home. He then leaves to change clothes in the family home before returning to the wedding in order to forge an alibi. On the spot, he discovers the parents of Maëlys as well as the guests in full search.

A monster and a pedophile

Around 4 a.m., he leaves the village hall. He finds the body of the child. He loads it in his car trunk, takes the road to the Chartreuse massif, 18km away, and abandons the body. It was only 6 months later that the remains of the little girl were finally found.

In the program “C à vous” on France 5, Maëlys’ mother returned to this painful moment. “At the end of the reenactment, when he showed the place where he had left my daughter for more than six months, all alone in the forest (…) I told him that he had abandoned my daughter like trash in nature. And that he was just a monster and a pedophile”, she breathes.

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