A trial has begun in central France over the disappearances and deaths of seven young girls and women, in a case dating back to the 1970s.Former bus driver Emile Louis, 70, is accused of murder. He admitted some of the killings several years ago but has since retracted his confession. Families of the victims gathered outside the court in Auxerre.With only two bodies found, they are hoping to solve the mystery of what happened to their loved ones. Marie Dejust told reporters she hoped to find out how her sister died, whether she was drugged and where she was buried. She says it was important, in memory of the girls. The women, with learning difficulties, went missing between 1975 and 1979. French authorities have been criticised for failing to investigate their disappearances. Emile Loius drove them in his bus to and from their care home. In March, he was jailed for 20 years for raping his second wife and step-daughter. His lawyers tried but failed to get this latest case delayed. Among those following it closely is the father of a British student whose naked body was found floating in a river near Auxerre in May 1990. Joanna Parish’s murder has never been solved.
French court ponders mystery of missing girls