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Suspect in disappearance of French girl is groom's friend

A second man has been arrested  in connection with the disappearance of a nine-year-old girl from a in the French Alps last weekend.

Maëlys De Araujo has not been seen since 3am on Sunday at a family in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, Isère, some30 miles north of Grenoble. 

The suspects, both 34, reportedly know each other, and one of them is a friend of the bridegroom who turned up to the reception uninvited, police say. 

Maëlys De Araujo has not been seen since 3am on Sunday at the event in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, Isère

Maëlys De Araujo has not been seen since 3am on Sunday at the event in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, Isère

The suspect arrested on Thursday had turned up late in the evening, and police say  ‘indications that he disappeared at the same time as the missing girl.'

Today, a friend of the initial suspect, who was in the area on the night of Maëlys' disappearance was taken into police custody.

Both men have  'contradictions' and 'inconsistencies' in their statements regarding Saturday night and Sunday morning, police said today.

A source close to the investigation said the police were looking into a mobile phone that the first suspect had concealed from the authorities. 

The first suspect, who lives in a village five miles from Pont-de-Beauvoisin, has previous convictions for vandalism and drug abuse. 

Police have expanded their search for the nine-year-old, who investigators fear may have been kidnapped

Police have expanded their search for the nine-year-old, who investigators fear may have been kidnapped

Police are increasingly worried the young girl may have been bundled in a car in the carpark of the wedding venue in the early hours of Sunday

Police are increasingly worried the young girl may have been bundled in a car in the carpark of the venue in the early hours of Sunday

Police have been searching woodland near the wedding reception venue where Maëlys went missing, and today discovered a hair clip

Police have been searching woodland near the reception venue where Maëlys went missing, and today discovered a hair clip

He was not an invited guest at the party, but a friend of the father of the groom, and turned up for a late drink.

When interviewed by detectives on Monday, there were ‘inconsistencies in his stories’, said an investigating source. 

‘He has now been placed in custody for further questioning.’ 

There are fears that Maelys was snatched and then driven away in a vehicle that has not yet been identified. 

Around 150 police

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