Danish man arrested in French Riviera after woman’s body found in fridge

A Danish man was brought before a judge in southern France on Tuesday on suspicions he murdered his wife and hid her body in a refrigerator, prosecutors said.

Danish man arrested in French Riviera after woman's body found in fridge
A photograph shows a French police logo on a police car (Photo by FRED TANNEAU / AFP)

The suspect was arrested early Sunday after police staked out his residence in Mandelieu-la-Napoule, just outside Cannes on the French Riviera, according to the local Nice-Matin newspaper.

They were alerted after two acquaintances of the Dane said he asked them to transport the refrigerator to a landfill, and noticed a foul odour coming from behind the padlocked door.

The suspect told them he had killed a dog, but the two men forced the fridge open and found not only the dog but also a “human body,” the local prosecutors’ office said.

An autopsy on Sunday determined that she had been shot.

“The victim has not been formally identified but the inquiry and the autopsy suggest that it’s the suspect’s wife,” prosectors said, adding that further tests were under way.

Police found several loaded weapons, cocaine and hash at the suspect’s home as well as the body of a puppy in a freezer.

During questioning, the man gave “no explications” but a psychiatric exam had found no mental health conditions that would prevent him from standing trial, prosecutors said.

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‘Trauma and sadness’ 33 years after British student’s murder in France

Family members of a British student murdered in France in 1990 gave emotional testimony to a French court on Monday in the trial of the widow of serial killer Michel Fourniret who kidnapped, raped and murdered the 20-year-old.

'Trauma and sadness' 33 years after British student's murder in France

Monique Olivier is currently standing trial in Paris accused of involvement in the murders by Fourniret of two young women, including the British student Joanna Parrish, and a nine-year-old girl.

After Fourniret himself died in 2021 aged 79 before he could be brought to trial for the three killings at issue, Olivier is the families’ only link to the truth of what happened to their loved ones.

“Joanna’s story ended in May 1990. The bright, beautiful and talented 20-year-old with the world at her feet was never able to have the life she wanted or deserved,” her father Roger told the court.

You can hear the team at The Local France discussing the Fourniret case and its ongoing impact in France on the latest episode of the Talking France podcast. Download here or listen on the link below

Wearing a tan jacket and roll neck sweater, the 80-year-old occasionally paused to hold back tears, taking sips of water before going on in a steady voice.

“There can be no greater tragedy than losing a child… when those circumstances are a deliberate act of murder, it further adds to the disbelief, anger, trauma and sadness,” he said.

Olivier, now aged 79 and serving a life sentence issued in 2008, is on trial for her part in the abduction, rape and murder of Joanna in 1990, and another woman, 18-year-old Marie-Angele Domece in 1988.

She is also charged with complicity in the disappearance of nine-year-old Estelle Mouzin in 2003, whose body has never been found two decades on despite intensive searches.

Domece’s remains have also never been found, while Parrish’s naked body was recovered from the Yonne river in the French department of the same name.

The cases have been dogged for decades by slip-ups and delays in the justice system that plaintiffs blame for the failure to bring Fourniret to trial.

Fourniret himself said of Domece and Parrish in 2018 that “I am the only one responsible for their fates… If those people had not crossed my path, they would still be alive”.