Found Deceased France - Émile S., 2, outside grandparent’s house, Le Vernet, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, 8 July 2023

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This wee lass was found 3 miles from home. Missing toddler found 3 miles from Michigan home, asleep and using her dog "as a pillow"

This little guy was found 3 miles from home. Boy, 3, missing for 50 hours found 3 miles away

I'm sure there are many more stories of toddlers walking farther than thought possible.

There are happy endings, there would definitely be more if everyone responsible realized if the little one has not been found when the search area has been cleared as much as they were able to, they need to widen the perimeter. jmo.
The little boy who hooked up with a bear (or did he? I believed him) during his time alone is memorable. And the toddler who returned looking like a ravaged war vet. (I hope he's ok now, the rescue picture was alarming but he'd found a place to stay warm and he survived at least.)
But going by statistics is clearly not an ideal way to deal with a missing tot. "They can't walk that far". Seriously.
(jmo.)
 
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I think that map is wrong as to the location of the chapel of Saint-Pancrace. I think the location on this map is correct . . . C'est tristement près de la Chapelle Saint-Pancrace, martyr et un des Saints Patrons des enfants... que les ossements d'Emile ont été retrouvés
. . . because you can see the spire, it looks like the chapel in pictures eg here: Haut-Vernet
 
As I wrote, there have been examples here on Websleuths where a tiny child of 2 or 3 years old walked far further than anybody believed they would. No names occur to me atm but there was a case in Ontario, Canada afai recall.

I think it's member @RickshawFan who explains how small children, especially, but in fact even adults can be missed during a search though they actually were there.
ETA: No, sorry, it was @JerseyWasHome2 in this particular thread, however point stands.

Small children who couldn't be a witness due to missing verbal skills could have wandered or they could have been abducted. The fact that they are small children who can't speak enough yet doesn't preclude wandering off, if you see what I mean.

I don't have any strong ideas on what happened to Émile, but I wouldn't rule out wandering off.
MOO

RIP little one.
Yes, sometimes toddlers (and others!) go further than imagined. SAR has a protocol where they search the statistically most likely radius first. Then they expand. This isn't so much "tragedy could have been avoided", as searching the most likely area first and thoroughly. Makes little sense to search areas with low statistical likelihood of a find, until the "highly likelies" are finished.

France has excellent SAR. The SAR protocols are international, and science-driven. We encountered French SAR in the Dingley case.

FWIW toddlers don't have the concept of "lost", perhaps because the whole world is new to them. They only have the concept of "mom's not here, where is mom? I have to find mom". Substitute whoever for "mom".

It's very common for folks missing in the wilderness never to be found. I will say, though, SAR seems to have a stellar record at finding toddlers. We seem rarely to have a case of "found deceased" in the woods when a child has wandered off.
 
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But either way, if Emile was found between the church and the chapel, that's a long way from the Auches ravine.
I believe it was that he was "found near a path between the Church and the Chapel". I take that to mean that the path ran between the church and chapel & not necessarily that his remains were located between the church and chapel.


If you look at googlemaps, the path "Les Fraisses" goes between the church/chapel. Les Fraisses then splits into two paths with the new path being named Saint-Pancrace - both of these run southwards are are between the two buildings. Saint-Pancrace runs a lot further south and into what seems to be the Ravin des auches.

 
Fact remains at a certain point they pulled the search rather than increase the search zone.

They kept saying it was the child who couldn’t walk that far.
He got far further than LE did.
That is shameful.

it happens in a lot of cases that they believe and assume the young child would not get further and yet, are proved wrong when they find the child, dead or alive

ETA: just saw others have addressed this
 
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There are happy endings, there would definitely be more if everyone responsible realized if the little one has not been found when the search area has been cleared as much as they were able to, they need to widen the perimeter. jmo.
The little boy who hooked up with a bear (or did he? I believed him) during his time alone is memorable. And the toddler who returned looking like a ravaged war vet. (I hope he's ok now, the rescue picture was alarming but he'd found a place to stay warm and he survived at least.)
But going by statistics is clearly not an ideal way to deal with a missing tot. "They can't walk that far". Seriously.
(jmo.)

SAR searches are done by statistics, with focus on the highest likelihood of finding the missing person. The statistics are based on hundreds of thousands of cases. If the missing person isn’t found within the likeliest area, they widen the search radius, as I mentioned above.

[Widening the search area won’t be the optimal choice in all situations, though. Sometimes, SAR experience tells them where folks go missing on a regular basis (Emily Sotelo was found exactly where expected) or the kinds of places people go missing, e.g. heading down a wash or following an animal trail)].

SAR searches are indeed an ideal way to search for a missing tot, since the protocol is the “missing tot” protocol. Children have a different search protocol, teens have a different protocol, mushroom hunters have a different protocol than hikers, Alzheimer patients have a different protocol, hunters have a different protocol……etc. etc. All based on statistics, with the pattern most likely to have a favorable outcome being a priority. By the numbers, this is the most ideal way to find a toddler.

I can tell you that very young children tend to crawl into narrow spots and curl up; searching has to be minute to find them, no rock goes unturned basically. Slightly older children don’t respond to rescuer calls, because they’ve had “stranger danger” imprinted on their brains. Alzheimer patients move in a straight line until they come to an obstacle; then they stop.

As with all statistics, there are single outliers. That doesn’t mean statistics aren’t an excellent way to plan a search. In fact, it’s proven they are.

If you’d like to know more, there are YT lectures by the founding scientist under “lost person behavior”. He’s saved a lot of lives.

FWIW the implication of these standard protocols is that community searchers cannot be in the search area except by express permission of LE. It’s sort of like a crime scene. The plan is executed in an exact certain way and has a lead planner: s/he coordinates all the different SAR search groups. Untrained community members in the search area miss clues easily, cause delays, and confuse helicopters and drones; they are prone to accidents and creating distractions when time is of the essence. So, untrained volunteers are very much a NO. This became an issue in the Dingley case where an independent searcher contaminated the search area (despite LE prohibition), making dogs useless and messing about in possible clue locations. LE was NOT happy.
 
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Disparition d'Emile : lieu, météo, personnalité de la promeneuse... Que sait-on des circonstances de la découverte des ossements ?
Screenshot_20240402-072450.png

Accurate map of the location, very steep terrain and poor weather at the time of the finding. 1km as the crow flies, 0.6 miles.

The place is called "les quatres chemins" which can be translate by the four paths. It's a popular intersection for hikers.


Locals are used to walk in the area and collect mushrooms especially when it's raining, we don't have much more intel on the woman who found the remains, the newspaper "Le Figaro" said it was a local, the mayor didn't confirm.


The gendarmes said that it's plausible that rain and snow carried out the skull, "Météo France" the french weather agency confirmed the poor weather the previous days.
 
it happens in a lot of cases that they believe and assume the young child would not get further and yet, are proved wrong when they find the child, dead or alive

ETA: just saw others have addressed this
Not rarely a missing person is not in the initial search area, but has covered more miles. E.g. the Alzheimer’s patient who went missing near Bellingham last year. Also often, a missing person might go many miles, but in a circle or a crazy route. It’s important to have a paper map, and to stay put in darkness (you can get really disoriented when the sun isn’t up).
 
I believe it was that he was "found near a path between the Church and the Chapel". I take that to mean that the path ran between the church and chapel & not necessarily that his remains were located between the church and chapel.


If you look at googlemaps, the path "Les Fraisses" goes between the church/chapel. Les Fraisses then splits into two paths with the new path being named Saint-Pancrace - both of these run southwards are are between the two buildings. Saint-Pancrace runs a lot further south and into what seems to be the Ravin des auches.

That's not what I get from looking at Google Maps. Where Les Fraisses splits in two, one path passes the chapel--or what looks like the chapel from above--and, strangely, that's not the path that is called Saint-Pancrace. The second of the two paths goes on, and splits in three, of which the east-er-most one is called Saint-Pancrace. (Apparently the chapel was originally in the middle of a field, and perhaps "Saint-Pancrace" the path was once the closest approach to the chapel, with the nearer path developing later.) I agree that where Saint-Pancrace ends may be part of the Ravin des Auches. The other two paths are also of interest. The middle one runs to the same ravine; the one to the west is almost immediately at the foot of a steep incline, with paths departing there which I imagine might be attractive to a child. I have been thinking that perhaps he began to climb up, and his bones were in due course washed down.
 
SAR has a protocol where they search the statistically most likely radius first. Then they expand. This isn't so much "tragedy could have been avoided", as searching the most likely area first and thoroughly. Makes little sense to search areas with low statistical likelihood of a find, until the "highly likelies" are finished.

France has excellent SAR. The SAR protocols are international, and science-driven.
Or, in this instance, they search the likely bit first then… _2 days later…_ stop.

EDIT: I hope you see how this approach in fact creates bad data? Rather than being based on good data.
 
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Wondering how the villagers feel about the date of the discovery on Easter Sunday: March 30th, that it is just a coincidence, or of greater significance? imo.
He was in a cave for 3 days and ascended to heaven?


here’s a wild theory… more people (in a catholic country) were near the church on Easter than most weekends.
 
There are happy endings, there would definitely be more if everyone responsible realized if the little one has not been found when the search area has been cleared as much as they were able to, they need to widen the perimeter. jmo.
The little boy who hooked up with a bear (or did he? I believed him) during his time alone is memorable. And the toddler who returned looking like a ravaged war vet. (I hope he's ok now, the rescue picture was alarming but he'd found a place to stay warm and he survived at least.)
But going by statistics is clearly not an ideal way to deal with a missing tot. "They can't walk that far". Seriously.
(jmo.)
There’s nothing wrong with using statistics as a starting point.

I don’t understand the logic of stopping the search 2 or 3 days in because it’s ‘unlikely’ the subject has gotten that far.
Obviously it’s unlikely. Take that as read.
That’s the whole situation.
Keep trying.

Look at the less likely options. Persist.
 
I think that map is wrong as to the location of the chapel of Saint-Pancrace. I think the location on this map is correct . . . C'est tristement près de la Chapelle Saint-Pancrace, martyr et un des Saints Patrons des enfants... que les ossements d'Emile ont été retrouvés
. . . because you can see the spire, it looks like the chapel in pictures eg here: Haut-Vernet

Yes, that’s a house - the Chapelle St Panacre doesn’t appear on the Sun’s aerial photo (off the bottom edge). The correct location for the discovery site is the Ravin des Auches, out to the west of Haut Vernet and not close to the chapel.
 
He was in a cave for 3 days and ascended to heaven?


here’s a wild theory… more people (in a catholic country) were near the church on Easter than most weekends.
Exactly, a greater number of people would likely be closer to a church at Easter than at other times.
If this had been a case involving foul play and remains were in fact moved to the area where they were found, the date of discovery might be considered a strategic act.

Emile's family is widely known to be very religious, surely they and many others in the village prayed to find him, i was curious to know if they found the date significant, imo, speculation.

''Emile's disappearance soon became a criminal inquiry into a potential abduction, although detectives did not have any further leads into what had happened.
The boy's parents, who are religious Catholics, said they feared the worst but told a Christian website they still hoped for a miracle.
His mother made a public appeal in November, marking what would have been Emile's third birthday. If he was still alive, she appealed for his safe return, but if he was dead, she asked that he be handed back for burial.''
 
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That's not what I get from looking at Google Maps. Where Les Fraisses splits in two, one path passes the chapel--or what looks like the chapel from above--and, strangely, that's not the path that is called Saint-Pancrace. The second of the two paths goes on, and splits in three, of which the east-er-most one is called Saint-Pancrace. (Apparently the chapel was originally in the middle of a field, and perhaps "Saint-Pancrace" the path was once the closest approach to the chapel, with the nearer path developing later.) I agree that where Saint-Pancrace ends may be part of the Ravin des Auches. The other two paths are also of interest. The middle one runs to the same ravine; the one to the west is almost immediately at the foot of a steep incline, with paths departing there which I imagine might be attractive to a child. I have been thinking that perhaps he began to climb up, and his bones were in due course washed down.
Someone posted a map screenshot in here earlier that had the Church and the Chapel marked.

The Church is at the intersetion where Les Fraisses first starts and if you follow Les Fraises all the wy down to where it ends, there is the Chapel in the field just south of it and to the right. Church on left and Chapel on right of path.

Where the path splits into two is still between the Church and chapel. It does split into more (Saint-Pancrace) after it passes south of the Chapel. The ravin in question is south of all of those splits of into new roads as it runs east-west. He was found of off one of those splits in paths IMO and not physically in between the Church and the Chapel which is the point I was attempting to make in my post.

I'll try to find the post that had the church and chapel marked as it is helpful.
 
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