Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Child Reported Missing in the Allier Region of France Did Not Exist

The woman who reported the disappearance, presenting herself as the child's aunt, has been remanded in custody. 

The suspicions of the investigators, in not excluding an "imaginary abduction," were well founded. Chayson, the two-year-old whom the police spent five days searching for, does not exist. The little boy was born from the imagination of the woman who reported his disappearance on Friday. She presented herself at the police station as the aunt of the child whom she claimed had disappeared into thin air near a supermarket car park. She was remanded in custody on Wednesday. Her daughter and a cousin, both minors suspected of having assisted her in setting up the hoax, have also been interviewed.

The story began on a fake Facebook page, which was almost certainly set up by the two teenagers, with photos stolen from other accounts on the social media web site. Three characters were created, one of whom, Rayane Basinio, was supposed to be Chayson's father and the nephew of the woman who invented the story. 

A bad joke or revenge? 

The investigators began to have their doubts when they noticed an increasing number of inconsistencies in the witness statements of the pretend aunt and her relatives. Chayson's parents happened to be separated, unable to be contacted and of unknown address. The police don't know how long the drama went on for on social media, but the reporting of the disappearance coincides with the time when the photo originally used on Rayane's account was withdrawn.

It is still not known if this story arose out of a bad taste joke or if it hides more malicious intent. "We're working on the motives, whether it's a psychological problem, or some hidden agenda, vengeance or something else." Anyone reporting an imaginary crime risks a six month prison sentence and a fine of €7,500. 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

‘Please Help Luz’ plea as Madeleine “circus” descends on village again

As British television networks once again descend on Praia da Luz in the run-up to the seventh anniversary since Madeleine McCann went missing, a local resident has come out fighting.

“It’s time to turn things round,” she told us. “Every year it is the same … British journalists arrive and dredge up more nonsense about Luz. We are meant to be overrun with child molesters, burglars, homosexuals, Eastern European child-snatchers ... Whatever next? Will it be the Taliban?

“They are back again now and this time they have interviewed a homeless person and a ‘prophet’,” the long-term resident told us on Saturday. “They have paid for these interviews. Now, they are apparently looking for a well-known gay man.

“These are the stories the British newspapers are looking for! They are not interested in the views of the real people of Luz - all of whom are fed up to the back teeth with the village being shown in such a bad light.”

The "homeless person" - a "perfectly pleasant man, but never sober" - is not a representational figure of local residents, explained the woman, and the “prophet” is someone who wears a turban and “walks around with a pole with a light on the top of it”.

"Neither can be considered typical Luz residents, but nor are they in any way threats to the community," she added.

The expat woman, who asked not to be named as she has “no wish to be a hero”, said: "It is time Luz had a voice."

“Last year, when the news people were asking questions as they do every year, I went up to the interviewer and said I would like to say a word or two.
“I said I wanted to know why they weren’t interviewing the McCanns for gross negligence that had led to a fatal result. He just dropped me because they don’t want to hear anything like that. They only want to report about people they can label as "weirdos".

“Quite honestly, I feel it is time Luz turned round and sued the McCanns for slander.

“I would like to stand as a voice for Luz. Who will want to come here after all the negative publicity? The British newspapers paint the village as one full of terrible people. This is grotesquely unfair. It has got to stop!”

As is so often the case, concern over speaking out has left this voice of Luz for now unnamed. She told us “everyone feels the same” - and behind the scenes few would disagree.

A high-ranking staff member at Luz Ocean Club told the Resident earlier this year: “Luz has taken such a battering over the last seven years. It really is time to do something for this community - help it rally round.” But, like the anonymous "voice of Luz", the man asked not to be identified.

Meantime, the Ocean Club is one of the prime movers behind a community triathlon event planned later this month precisely to promote the picturesque village “before the holiday season gets underway”.

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