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Pubic hair leads to confession for 17-year-old murder

RFI/Agnieszka Kumor

A French gendarme has been arrested for a murder committed 17 years ago, thanks to a pubic hair found at the scene of the crime. The suspect is reported to have confessed.

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The 39-year-old gendarme was detained in the Côte d’Azur city of Nice, where he was serving, and transferred to Lille in north-east France, where he was due to appear before a judge on Friday afternoon.

Sources close to the inquiry say that he confessed after tests showed that his DNA was the same as that of a single pubic hair found on the body of the victim, Stéphanie Fauviaux, who was an 18-year-old student at the time of her death.

Fauviaux’s flatmate found her strangled, with a broken skull and scalded face, in the bath of the bedsit they shared.

The victim had not been raped and there were no signs of robbery. The only clue was the pubic hair.

Several years ago a fellow student was briefly detained because he had provided a false alibi but was released because no evidence was found against him.

In May 2009 Fauviaux’s family appealed to witnesses to come forward in the local paper, the Voix du Nord, and, at their request, a new DNA test using up-to-date techniques was recently carried out, leading to the suspect being identified.

He was unemployed at the time and had met the victim through her flatmate.

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