In his book, Eric Mouzin evokes all the years when he moved Heaven and earth trying to find his daughter.
In a book he gives testimony to his life since he has had no news of his daughter. And he talks of his sadness when the investigators suspected him.
The book starts with a disconcerting sentence: "I am not the one who abducted Estelle." This is how Eric Mouzin, father of this little nine-year-old girl, who mysteriously disappeared eight years ago in Germantes (Seine-et-Marne) begins his story. The book also ends in an unexpected way on a message addressed to his child's abductor. A call for him to return Estelle, who was abducted on January 9th 2003.
Between that odd beginning and that heartrending ending, Eric Mouzin opens up for the first time. In nearly two hundred pages* which reads uninterruptedly, he witnesses to what it is to be the father of a missing child. A multi-faceted status: first of all that of being a suspect. During the investigation, the first people to be suspected are those close to the victim. But for Eric Mouzin, a great many elements accumulated against him.
First of all, the divorce and the disagreements with his ex-wife, who threw at him one day: "Look me in the eye and tell me that it wasn't you who abducted Estelle." Inevitably, the investigators had envisaged a familial abduction by this father who was separated from his daughter. "Today, are they truly convinced of my innocence?" he still wonders.
Then there was the E-fit sketch of a possible abductor, distributed during the investigation, and which presented troubling similarities to him. Finally, his character played against him. "I was the block of marble," he says. Eric Mouzin never cried before the cameras, always adopted a cold distance and analysed situations tactlessly, as he does in the book. Politicians, officials, the media are, what's more, not described here in their best light.
Finally, being the father of a missing child is to be also a victim, a sad role which nowadays stops him laughing in front of others at the risk of getting funny looks.
Eric Mouzin also sweeps aside all the years in which he moved Heaven and earth in an attempt to find his daughter. Knocking on the doors of ministers, approaching celebrities and going abroad to see how authorities in those countries deal with saving these young victims. In vain. This overwhelmed and angry father also states that all the research has still not been conducted around Michel Fourniret, suspected of having possibly abducted his child.
Estelle is also evoked. With decency. Through short paragraphs that say much more about her than long outpourings. "Very soon Estelle will have spent more time missing than living," writes Eric Mouzin, who, this January 9th, will spend some moments in silence in Germantes. As every year for eight years.
* Retrouver Estelle published by Stock.
Le Figaro 7/01/11