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Fugitive Frenchman wanted over family murders arrested in Scotland

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By Reuters  with NBC News World News
Image: FILES-FRANCE-CRIME-MURDER-INVESTIGATION
Messages and flowers left on a metal barrier placed outside Dupont de Ligonnes' family home in the French western city of Nantes in 2011.   -   Copyright  JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD

PARIS — A Frenchman suspected of killing his entire family in 2011 and who later disappeared, in a mystery that transfixed France, was arrested on Friday afternoon at Glasgow airport in Scotland.

Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes has been sought by police over his suspected involvement in the deaths of his wife and their four children in the western city of Nantes.

His disappearance had long stumped investigators, leading some to speculate that he had died.

This file photo taken on April 23, 2011 shows the portrait of suspect in the murder of his family Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes on the registration form of his rifle club where he had carried out shooting practice in the French western city of Nantes.
This file photo taken on April 23, 2011 shows the portrait of suspect in the murder of his family Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes on the registration form of his rifle club where he had carried out shooting practice in the French western city of Nantes.-

Scottish police confirmed that a suspect had been detained on Friday, though they did not give details of his identity. A French police source confirmed that Dupont de Ligonnes had been arrested.

NBC News has not verified the report.

"A man was arrested at Glasgow Airport and remains in police custody in connection with a European Arrest Warrant issued by the French Authorities," Scottish police said in a statement.

"Inquiries are ongoing to confirm his identity and we continue to liaise with our colleagues in the relevant agencies."

Dupont de Ligonnes was arrested after traveling from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, several newspapers reported.

Le Parisien said the fugitive was traveling under a fake name, and had been detected due to his fingerprints following a tip-off.

The murders shocked France in 2011 after the bodies of the Dupont de Ligonnes family, as well as their two dogs, were discovered buried under the terrace of the family home.

It later emerged that the suspect had financial problems and had signed up to a local rifle club for shooting practice.

Police found a message he had sent in 2010 in which he had said he wanted to kill his family.