55 boulevard robert-schuman

Nantes, rue principale Schuman, Wednesday April 13, 2011, eight days earlier. Thé shutters on 55 have been closed pour several days. To auto right de the front door, in année empty room framed passant par two hooks that supported a mailbox, a piece of white file is resolved to the wall with année orange-colored tape. A typed message: “Return toutes les personnes mail à senders. Thank you.” local residents have already listed these deux abnormalities. Accustomed à walking previous a house with shutters constantly open, this un message intended pour the postman seems very strange to them.

Vous lisez ce: 55 boulevard robert-schuman

Located north de Nantes, this bourgeois loger is adjoined through numbers 57 nous its right et 53 nous its left de three du its sides: facade, walls, and garden. Cette is in the heart de the residential district of Breil-Barberie, a rather lively area with numerous passing personnes day and night. Along rue principale Schuman, imposing gateways conceal beautiful wooded properties. In this spring du 2011, many small local shops are open up – a hair salon, a sewing store, a paiement where locals bet on horse races - there is a bien sur sweetness of tons here.

At night, auto scene transforms under auto very windows de 55: prostitutes, essentially de African origin, roam auto sidewalks, looking à la customers. Sometimes, this nocturnal “animation” degenerates right into uproar.

On thé neighboring boulevard des Américains, agnès Dupont du Ligonnès’ car, a golf convertible, attractive the attentif of a neighbor. Thé vehicle has actually not moved for several days, i beg your pardon is unusual. Elle testified to french radio station, RTL: “The house was closed et there to be this inscription nous the mailbox, ‘return venir senders,’ which had actually intrigued me. <...> i always hoped the this loger would reopen, but that no happen. Nous Wednesday , the postman come by, et I said à him, ‘It’s not worth putting des lettres at the neighbors at 55. Auto mailbox is closed.’ he said to me, ‘Really? I’m no surprised. They haven’t paid the recommandés (a special taxes which guarantees mail delivery) parce que le a while.’ ce bothered me. I had a really mauvais feeling deep inside... Ns didn’t sait why, cible it fabriquer me anxious. I called the police.”


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Agnès de Ligonnès exit car

This April 13, surprising informations circulates in auto neighborhood et fuels conversations. Persistent rumors come back from ns Perverie-Sacré-Coeur, Anne and Benoît Dupont aux Ligonnès’ lécole located nous rue aux la Perverie, a little east of rue principale Schuman. Since April 4, no one at auto middle school or high school had seen them. Teachers et classmates space worried around them. One of them, who had actually loaned his iPod venir Benoît, tried à reach him by phone in bespeak to volonté it back, cible there was no answer. Différent friends pass in front ns 55 seulement un to find the door is closed.

As for the Blanche-de-Castille Catholic school complex where agnès works, the nouvelles is hardly much more reassuring: thé family has apparently left in a hurry... Pour Australia.


Four job earlier, Saturday, April 9, a member du Agnès’ family referred to as the policier to alert lock to auto receipt du a an extremely peculiar et rather amazing letter. Suffice à say thé interlocutor is not taken seriously passant par the officier de police station.

This person, yet trustworthy, reiterates his concern auto following Monday, April 11 with the Nantes magistrates. The reaction in thé prosecutor’s bureau at TGI (Tribunal du Grande Instance) ns Nantes is extremely cautious. Auto family member is said that auto Dupont aux Ligonnès couple is ns age, so there is ne sont pas reason to worry haricot de soja much.

The heureux of this letter, authored by Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès, is frais from commonplace:

Nantes, April 8. Hi everyone! Mega surprise: nous left à la the etats-unis in an emergency, under an extremely special conditions. Cette will no longer be possible pour us à communicate with elle otherwise (no emails, SMS, jaune telephone) pour a couple of years due to security reasons.

He said he was année American spy recruited de the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and infiltrated auto world of français nightclubs à recover informations on drug trafficking and money laundering. Et continues:

With the information I oui collected pour seven years, I oui become année essential evil in a en vigueur trial involving an elderly officials in the international drug trade.

According à him, this risky ordre had come to be complicated:

For part time, there were indications that ns had to be spotted... The situation as such became dangerous à la us here and necessitated taking emergency measures.

He climate details “the federal witness cacher program, indigenous which he et his family benefit due to the fact that they space already on American soil, transferred under a new identity, which should obviously remain secret,” and insists:

The official version is that nous were transferred to australie for skilled reasons without further details. Cette would it is in good venir circulate this false information on Facebook et other networks. <...> They raconter us that ce will be possible, in a bien sur time, to send you information par mail: we oui chosen Emmanuel as the centralizer because cette has the advantage de knowing seulement about everyone. He will receive thé letters à communicate to you. Hey will receive consignes in périmé course.

“The house key is hidden external in the EDF counter, which opens up with anything (car key, screwdriver, knife),” add to Xavier Dupont du Ligonnès, alias XDDL, to allow his relatif to carry out thé tasks cette entrusts to them. Thé father ns the household indeed gives ligne directrice to everyone: sell bien sur furniture et cars, organize the inventory du fixtures avant May 31… this are toutes les personnes elements that space not very closely examined by the investigators at that time.

The henchmen message, though cette is extraordinarily bizarre, is pretty clear: thé father du the family members says he is a spy in danger. Many thanks to the American government, hey was able venir shelter his family members in the United States. Thé letter end thus:

We will have so much to appel you later! the hard part will be obtaining used à our nouveau names!


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The "Letter to Nine" sent par XDDL

By Wednesday, April 13, the officier de police are currently aware du this letter. They endroit with auto director of ns Perverie in auto morning, who notified them of the letter they obtained that announced a exit after an emergency transfer to australia - thé “official version therefore.”

The directeur of the clôture Tempo pizzeria, a couple of meters from the family home, shows that cette too got a handwritten letter date April 4, signed passant par Arthur, thé eldest son and a casual employee in his business. In his letter, thé young homme says cette can no longer “continue to perform his duties.” cette “submits his resignation and renounces all compensation et any salary… following thé transfer de his father to Australia.” This should be auto reason why Arthur did not come to collect his pay oui he commonly did every month.

The announcement du this sudden departure on the other side du the world leaves the directeur perplexed. This feeling is widely shared par the professional et personal unir of auto family.

This accumule of testimony triggered investigators à search auto unoccupied loger at 55 boulevard Schuman pour the life time. Auto visit takes carré that day at 2:45 p.m. Brigadier-in-Chief, michelle M., notes that thé shutters space closed. Hey calls conditions météorologiques the fire brigade venir enter thé house. Auto residence is well ventilated. The electricity is encore working. Auto accommodation is toujours furnished. Upstairs, thé presence ns suitcases argues a hasty departure. Nothing else venir report.

A second police visit is scheduled à la 3:00 p.m. On Friday, April 15, 2011. Brigadier-in-Chief michelle B. Come at thé entrance venir 55. He lentilles de contact one ns the neighbors, Dr. Alain P., et asks to pass through his adjoining garden in order venir reach that ns the Dupont ns Ligonnès passant par means de a ladder. From the back de the house, thé policeman walks conditions météorologiques the yard, the cross it, access the terrace, and then enters the kitchen.

On a buffet, they find medical equipment, car keys, et registration cards. Auto latter correspond to those ns a Citroën Xantia and a Golf. Auto policeman additionally comes across a hand-scribbled note:

Sorry, we didn’t oui time to bring the bags of shoes venir the rouge Cross. It’s not far. Seul put them next to the garment containers. See attached map.


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The state ns the page daccueil seemed to support the story du a speedy departure.

There is additionally a Finaref bank document et underneath a crucial a post-it the reads: “Keys to auto cellar.” thé investigator seizes auto key and goes down venir visit this place under thé terrace. Throughout this second visit, like thé previous one, nothing seemed abnormal.

The enquête continues, et it will view a clear évolution in thé following hours. Around 5 p.m., the Nantes auditeur prosecutor’s bureau asked the police to investigate thé Family pin money Fund and wished to savoir the geolocation du the Dupont aux Ligonnès couple’s téléphone mobile, téléphone portable phones. Also, auto two names ns Xavier and agnès Dupont de Ligonnès are gone into in the national Register du wanted persons.

At the same time, a Nantes policier officer take away his phone and calls thé two cellphones belong to agnes and Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès. Each time, auto investigator finds thé calls aller straight à voicemail without ringing. Nous the deux lines, thé policeman pipeline a message with his name, his rank, his la communication details, oui well oui the reason pour his call, requesting to be contacted as soon oui possible.

Shortly avant 6 p.m., the investigators are once again informed ns the “American track” by a paire of Nantes friends, Raymond and Nathalie K., that are additionally recipients de the “confidential” letter written par Xavier Dupont du Ligonnès. Mrs. K. Take away the plan to call the police. She understands that her friends ont gone abroad et wants to reassure the police... Who à faire not require any added information, lock already savoir the exact content of this letter.

On Saturday, April 16, 2011, at 10:30 a.m., Nathalie K. Was however summoned et heard par the police. Elle explains, this time orally, that elle received this letter nous April 9. Then she revealed gift a friend de the Dupont aux Ligonnès family. She has not seen agnès since march 29. A detail: her son Philippe, also a friend du Thomas Dupont aux Ligonnès, chatted last dimanche (April 10) nous the porch du 55 with a friend de XDDL named Emmanuel. She describes the man ont also upset par the sudden departure ns the whole family indigenous abroad.

At auto end ns this interview, the officier de police proceed in sequence: they sapin meet one du Xavier’s sisters, christine Dupont aux Ligonnès, ont well ont his mother, Geneviève, who share année apartment in Versailles. Castle ask for confirmation that this letter has actually been received. After a period du so-called “emotional” wait time, castle respond in the affirmative. This letter is additionally accompanied by a personalized note signed by Xavier.

The policier then appel téléphonique the other sister of XDDL: Véronique. She is in auto Republic ns Congo, where she lives part de the year. Elle does not think in auto contents du this e-mail at all, cible she go not démontrer concern.

Among the divers recipients du the letter is a key person, whom thé investigators summon to their office: Emmanuel T., appointed passant par Xavier Dupont aux Ligonnès himself as the “centralizer.”

The interview is directed passant par Anne-Sophie R., thé same policewoman that will be thé impetus parce que le the discovery du the bodies on April 21. Thé testimony ns the lacking father’s best friend is riche in nouveau information. He explains that hey discovered this famous publier in auto mailbox du his Nantes home, inserted in an unstamped envelope, on Saturday, April 9 about noon. “Yes, i believed this letter… jaune more precisely, in hindsight, wanted to believe it,” admits Emmanuel.

This missive is also accompanied by two small personalized notes signed Xavier. Nous the first, nous read affectionate words... And precise instructions:

My old friend, we are going à spend temps (for the first time in 37 years) a couple of years there is no seeing every other jaune calling or writing back and forth: that going to be weird! Will oui to volonté used à it! okay let tu take care of a petit “administrative” part, once Cédric has actually done the “manual” part. Everyone has their own domain! LOL. There may be ne sont pas deposit à recover because the rent à la April will certainly surely not be taken. We oui withdrawn the max on Agnès’ account avant leaving. As for the contour in progress (debts the you know about, non more worries. Everything will fall into auto water…) mdr Stay there until i come back. Je need you. I was not in Savoy this week, marqué in parisien with the Americans. Je came patrie at night, and we seulement un had one day to emballé up and start emptying thé house! Hot! Warn ben that we will no come to make the baptism of shooting planned nous the 9. I kiss amie very hard. Xav.

Then a seconde note:

Emmanuel, right here are the different files. <…> say thanks to you pour taking care of toutes les personnes of this . Once Cédric et his friends oui emptied the house, could amie find a clean lady? I ont left 50 euro in année envelope à pay parce que le it. Ce is not a matter du cleaning thoroughly cible of vacuuming each room.

Emmanuel T. Walk immediately à 55 conditions météorologiques Saturday, April 9, et notes that auto sets ns keys venir the loger are no yet deposit in auto hiding carré indicated par Xavier in his letter. In auto utility meter box, a new handwritten note mentions that the keys will be put there overnight.

On Sunday, April 10 at 5 p.m., Emmanuel T. Rapport to auto scene. Auto keys à the loger are there. They room accompanied by de nouveau note, this temps type-written: “Some keys faire not work well. You have to wiggle them à open auto door. Always leave a set de keys in the hiding carré so the others deserve to enter.” cette meets Nathalie K.’s son, Philippe, in front of the house, and they chat for a couple of seconds.

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Emmanuel then describes to auto police: “I entered auto house, cible I was afraid du a family drama. His DEA histoire seemed unimaginable venir me. Je inspected thé house. Je didn’t see any damage.” Then cette adds: “I returned on Monday, April 11 v Cédric M. Ns had just got the noter that Xavier ressentir me, asking me to get a housekeeper et ensure auto inventory ns fixtures. <…> ns had a house key. I had divers keys à my loger that je did not want à leave in thé EDF meter.”

Sunday, April 17, 2011. Investigators spread their inspection in tous directions. Thus, a decision was fabriqué to la communication the Urssaf (the French dispensés system pour Social defense benefits); the medical ar was additionally contacted nous this day à find out si members ns the family members could have been thé subject of any psychiatric consultations. In another arm ns the investigation, two requisitions are ordered native a telephone company to list tous the terminals activated de the mobile phones of Xavier and agnès Dupont aux Ligonnès because April 1.

Monday, April 18. The nouvelles of auto family’s disappearance begins venir spread in the ville of Nantes, even si the nouvelles of auto day is an ext marked par a totally different matter: thé arrests du a sect ns Saint-Brévin guru et his partner, indicted pour rape et sexual attack during a rencontre with two ns their disciples.

Local journalists space starting à take a closer look at auto Dupont du Ligonnès family. They room conducting thé very sapin neighborhood interviews. Meanwhile, the police have been investigating all of thé family’s financial movements since April 3, questioning each de the banking establishments where the accounts room open.


At noon, mathieu Fohlen, deputy auditeur prosecutor, orders the Nantes judicial police to carry out a new visit venir 55. They are charged with retrieving photographs du the family members and, above all, a gun! Investigators know now the Xavier Dupont aux Ligonnès has a weapon. Ce is a originalité brand 22 semi-automatic longue rifle, which hey inherited native his father, who passed away less than three months previously conditions météorologiques January 20, 2011.

This 3rd search lasts année hour et a quarter, in between 4:30 p.m. Et 5:45 p.m. Very precisely. Cette takes place with thé same neighborhood doctor ont a witness. But, this time, auto investigators aller not need to appel téléphonique the firemen to enter the house: Emmanuel T., Xavier’s friend, offered them a set of keys.

Two policewomen, Nathalie P. And Anne-Sophie R., bring out meticulous inspections work. Every detail can be crucial. Whatever is documented et video-recorded with precision: garbage le sac full de shoes, année empty fridge, the presence ns a couple of jars ns jam, a tidy dishwasher… on the kitchen floor, they note the presence of a toujours damp mop et a bottle du cleansing agent placed nous the table next to the cellar key. They an alert that a map of france is taped venir a wall. Cities room circled with felt-tip pen: les Rochelle, Nice, Tarbes, Pau, Auxerre, Aix, Perpignan.


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A bottle du Ajax, three-quarters full, is noted nous the kitchen counter.

In the living room, an intact chess set sits conditions météorologiques a stems acting oui a table. Nous the sofas, 3 guitars room stored in their cases. Empty la peinture frames room scattered conditions météorologiques the ground.

The deux women aller up to the seconde floor. In thé master bedroom, two simple beds devoid de sheets are driven together. A circonscriptions of musique occupies a large part of the room. In the divers bedrooms, auto mattresses are also bare - ne sont pas more sheets or quilts. Castle notice auto presence du a brownish spot nous the mattress ns one of the children beds.

The inspectors backtrack and return to a information already noted in the kitchen. They state: “The mop is wet v cleanser.”


A mop that is still damp is provided in the kitchen during thé third search of the house

They then head out onto the terrace et descend into auto yard. “The floor is dirt. Let’s marche back to the terrace wherein we ont to bend in half to access auto cellar where boxes room stored.” these twenty boxes space filled v bundles ns “Crystal” scratch tickets from Xavier’s business.

This 3rd visit does not meet its objective: conditions météorologiques still oui no nouvelles of thé missing family, et the police ont found neither des photos nor weapons.

Tuesday April 19, 2011. A new entretien of Emmanuel T., roughly is scheduled pour 11 a.m. Auto latter came to return the last 55 an essential that cette had in his possession- cette handed over two more thé previous weekend. Cédric M. Additionally has two. A total of five secrets will because of this be gone into into evidence.

Then, in answering the investigators’ questions, Emmanuel T. Made a disturbing revelation: “During our visit à Xavier’s, Monday, April 11 between 4 and 4:30 p.m., Cédric et I went the end in thé yard. Ns took a half-opened bottle de Frontignan from the fridge et poured a glass de it, which ns left nous the terrace table. Cédric told je that cette had forgotten his cigarettes.” What an amazing vision de two friend smoking and drinking seul a couple of meters above thé two violemment where thé bodies will be discovered!

Also conditions météorologiques April 19, the officier de police gathered aspects relating to the family’s heritage. Research is gift done à find out si Xavier Dupont du Ligonnès has actually a boat lare along the Erdre sortie in Nantes. Information is take away from thé harbor office ns Nantes Métropole. The policier have, parce que le the tons time, access to thé list de the family’s bank accounts, i beg your pardon has just been sent to them. Xavier, personally jaune professionally, and agnes have opened numerous accounts in number of establishments. Et they’re toutes les personnes in the rouge right now…

The two Labradors du the Dupont ns Ligonnès household did not escape the investigators either. Research is being brought out to find out whether thé Humane society has newly taken charger of two nouveau dogs. But they come à nothing: ne sont pas trace de Jules and Léon, even in thé smallest kennel de the Nantes region.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011. Auto family has actually been proactively sought à la a week now, et the Nantes press is placing pressure conditions météorologiques the floor of the TGI du Nantes. To respond à journalists’ requests, Xavier Ronsin, prosecutor, decides to schedule a press conférence at auto courthouse à la 10:30 a.m. The suivant day.

But what will the cette be able to say in concrete terms? Can he make auditeur the various letters received and present the proposed scenarios, including that du a spy of french nationality working conditions météorologiques behalf the US government in thé context of international drug smuggling exfiltrated de the united States à a federal witness abri program? une can imagine comment perplexing this must oui been pour the prosecutor. Within thé TGI, nous understand that it is especially significativement to highlight the investigation, largely within thé house.

Thus, a fourth patrie visit is made. This time, cette takes carré at 10 a.m. In thé presence ns a magistrate, math Fohlen. He is accompanied passant par some investigators from thé PJ, including Anne-Sophie R., that has already entered the patrie twice. Despite auto precise description made deux days earlier nous April 18, castle decided venir start again native scratch.

What did the magistrate et the police noter on April 20? “The aperçu appearance de the house gives the impressionnant of a hasty departure.” They find a Fichet brand for sure key. Several objects and documents are inserted under seal, consisting of papers connected to différent telephone subscriptions.

In thé dishwasher, there are 6 large et three petit plates, cups, and bowls. Everything is clean. The presence du a three-quarter complete bottle ns a yellow Ajax brand cleanser is noted in thé kitchen ont is a red cleaning bucket nous the soil containing flexible broom that is calmer wet.

On auto refrigerator, there is a telephone num scribbled du someone named D., located in Spain. Nous the table is a big, old-looking an essential to auto cellar.

The decision was made to sweep the kitchen v Crimescope et Bluestar. These deux products are frequently used in criminal caisse to recognize traces of blood. Auto Crimescope is a powerful projector capable of producing very pure lights du varying colors. Cette is offered in grazing white light to look à la fibers or hair or, in blue irradiate projected perpendicular nous the ground, à la traces ns DNA (blood, sperm, saliva...).

Bluestar, conditions météorologiques the other hand, reveals pistes of blood that has actually been washed, erased, or invisible to thé naked eye, cible it does no alter thé DNA de the blood revealed. The Bluestar reaction positively on the whole tiled kitchen floor, nous the broom, and inside the bucket. Parce que le the investigators, this reaction need to be taken with caution because the Bluestar occasionally provides a false positive.

On a light wood chair et on a table leg, ten brownish stains, which appear to oui been delete everything off and could it is in blood, are also noted. They have année average diameter ns half a centimeter.

On a mattress, in one de the bedrooms, a an extremely old blood stain, dry and odorless, is also detailed – probably from a nosebleed.

Room after room, the officier de police collect oui much information as possible: toothbrushes and razors from auto bathroom are put under seal along with a glass found on a dresser in a bedroom.

Investigators are currently able to identify thé names de the résident of auto five bedrooms. Conditions météorologiques the first floor, thé bedroom opposite thé narrow staircase is that de Arthur; the one nous the right, suivant to the bathroom, is occupied par Anne. Nous the seconde floor, the room opposite the staircase is attributed à Thomas; thé one conditions météorologiques the right, à Benoît. Thé last is the parents’ bedroom.

The investigators ended their search by searching one du the couple’s cars, which to be parked nearby. In auto glove compartment, lock find thé trace of année old bank document worrying Arthur, but this record does not existing anything ns interest.

On the différent hand, the attention of auto investigators focuses nous the father’s expert life. They discover that he manages a company, SelRef, based in Pornic, a coastal town 30 mile from Nantes. Conditions météorologiques site, they go to the obvious: the société appears à be non more than a post office box, and yet Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès, lock discover, has not set football at this address since 2003 or 2004. As for thé company’s mail, ce has to be redirected venir 55 rue Schuman.

Interviews ns relatives are additionally scheduled, consisting of that ns Raymond K., auto husband de Nathalie K., already heard nous April 16. Cible nothing particularly de nombreux emerges indigenous this mid-afternoon interview.

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A few minute later, at about 4:40 p.m., however, significant information reached the police: the requested reporter of bank transactions pointed à purchases et expenses made de Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès over the past few days. This informations from the banks delivers crucial clues: one ns the bank cards was provided recently venir purchase déchets bags, adhesive tape, quick cement, et lime. This purchases were fabriquer in multiple shop in auto suburbs de Nantes. In addition, a map was used à pay a hotel bill in Vaucluse on April 13, et a cash withdrawal du 30 euro was fabriquer in the Var, conditions météorologiques April 14.

On April 20, auto Nantes prosecutor announces thé opening of an investigation for a “disturbing disappearance.” Then, a new patrie visit is scheduled parce que le the 21st. These purchases room disturbing, specifically that of lime. Cette is this last element that will trigger excavations under the terrace because thé police à savoir that quicklime is frequently used pour the burial of corpses…