Suspect denies abduction of girl from French wedding

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Suspect denies abduction of girl from French wedding

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A man has been placed under formal investigation in France on suspicion of abduction over the disappearance of a nine-year-old girl at a wedding reception just over a week ago.

The lawyer for the 34-year-old wedding guest acknowledges that traces of DNA from Maelys de Araujo were found on the dashboard of his car, but he denies any involvement in the disappearance.

The girl went missing from a village hall in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, near the French Alps in the east of the country, in the early hours of the morning on August 27.

Police say there were inconsistencies in the suspect’s account of his movements on the night and say he also washed his vehicle the next day.

But his lawyer says there are numerous possible explanations regarding the DNA, saying the girl and a boy had got into the car looking for his dog.

Extensive police searches in and around the wedding location have failed to find any trace of Maelys.

Officers have also questioned the more than 200 guests who were present both at the wedding and at two other social events held in the same village.