Missing girl feared kidnapped after vanishing from French wedding

Maëlys De Araujo has not been seen since 3am on Sunday at the event in Pont-de-Beauvoisin Isère

Maëlys De Araujo has not been seen since 3am on Sunday at the event in Pont-de-Beauvoisin Isère

About 50 more gendarmes were drafted into the area to search for the girl yesterday, adding to the 100 officers already there.

Police in France say "each passing hour" makes it more likely a girl who vanished from a wedding in the Alps was kidnapped, after her scent was lost in a vehicle park.

A source said the arrested man was near the wedding venue when she disappeared and his account of his whereabouts that night contained inconsistencies.

When she first disappeared a guest said people assumed she was asleep after playing hide-and-seek.

"We try to imagine all the possible hypotheses — an accident, an unfortunate encounter, a kidnapping by a sexual predator". The DJ raised the alarm when she was reported missing and the 180 guests tried to find her before police were called and a search began.

Police have also been interviewing family members of Maëlys' who were not at the ceremony.

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"It was anguish. To see the disappearance of a nine-year-old, that's not nothing".

Police reinforcements were drafted in to help search the wooded area around the hall on Wednesday. Divers could be seen searching for her in the nearby Guiers river on Tuesday.

Wedding guests searched for the girl for about an hour before alerting the police, Ms Baudoin said.

The young girl is described as 4ft 3ins tall, weighing 28kg, and has dark skin, brown eyes and hair, and was wearing a white sleeveless dress.

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