French police investigating the disappearance of little Emile, two, who went ... trends now
Police have searched the home of the grandparents of missing French boy Émile Soleil, whose disappearance in July drew comparisons with BBC drama The Missing.
The two-year-old vanished without trace from the property in Haut-Vernet, an Alpine hamlet south of Grenoble, exactly four months ago.
There has been no trace of him since July 8. Now MailOnline has learned that detectives searched the holiday home of Émile's maternal grandparents, Philippe and Anne Vedovini, who are in their 60s, on Tuesday morning.
'The raid was part of an operation that saw every bit of the house examined,' said an investigating source.
'Phones and computers were examined... Forensic checks also included taking DNA samples, and some objects were confiscated.'
Two-year-old Émile disappeared without trace from the property in Haut-Vernet, an Alpine hamlet south of Grenoble, exactly four months ago
Investigators have extended their enquiry to other parts of France after a thorough search of the countryside around Vernet yielded nothing. Pictured: French gendarmes are briefed before taking part in a search operation
Simultaneous raids also took place on properties in other parts of France, some of them linked to Émile's extended family.
All of the searches were sanctioned by judges.
There was no initial comment on what was found during the raids, with judicial police simply confirming that the judicial investigation was ongoing.
Émile was officially in the care of Mr and Mrs Vedovini on the day of his disappearance, as his parents took a break.
A witness saw Mr Vedovini, a physiotherapist-osteopath, cutting wood outside his house around the time Émile is thought to have wandered off.
'Émile was seen walking alone on the asphalt road next to the family home,' said the source. 'The grandfather was cutting wood about ten meters from the child.'
Mr Vedovini is known as a devout Roman Catholic and strict authoritarian who brought up 10 children, including Émile's mother, who is now known by her married name of Marie Soleil.
The family have not commented on the specifics of Émile's disappearance, but in an interview with Christian Family (Famille Chrétienne) magazine last month, Mr Vedovini said: 'Obviously I come across as a dominator who terrorises everyone… All of this is false, but I don't care.
'The media hurts us, but the people around us are truly extraordinary.'
The political background of the family has also been examined by police.
Émile's father, Colomban Soleil, 26, was arrested for 'an attack on foreigners' in 2018.
A walker passes in front of gendarmes who are resting for a few moments before continuing the raking on July 13
Volunteers take part in a search operation for