Cold case: the mystery of the calcined baby of Rambouillet, found in 2008

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In the south of the Yvelines department, in the Paris region, the Rambouillet forest, which majestically extends over more than 200 km2, is a privileged green setting. When the fine weather arrives, you come across walkers, families, and sports enthusiasts. But in 2008, the wood will be the scene of a chilling discovery, which will make the headlines.

On May 23, it is 1:30 p.m. when a walker finds, on his way, the corpse of a baby, poorly hidden between the trees. It is half charred, and rests in a cloth bag.

The little body wears blue overalls and a cotton bodysuit, says Le Parisien.

The gendarmes of the research section of Versailles are immediately seized of the investigation.

On site, they find a layer of the Repère brand, coming from a Leclerc center, and a pink pacifier.

The autopsy revealed that the victim was a little girl, aged 5 or 6 months. But impossible to determine with certainty the exact causes of his death. “Only certainty: no trace of blows was found on the victim’s skull or face”, reports the daily a few days after the discovery.

Was it an accident, murder, or sudden infant death syndrome? And above all, who could have abandoned this little body in the middle of the forest before setting it on fire?

These questions, at the center of the investigations, are shrouded in mystery and horror.

In the process, the gendarmes broadcast a national call for witnesses.

“A judicial investigation for intentional homicide has been opened by the Versailles prosecutor’s office and all hypotheses are being considered. Today, we are counting on this call for witnesses to trace the thread of this thorny file”, confided an investigator to Parisian on June 5, 2008.

Their goal ? Find the identity of the child, and put a name to his martyrdom.

“I think a mother is in pain somewhere. She has to contact us and come and explain to us what happened to her baby”, reported another gendarme in the daily newspaper on May 29.

Unfortunately, neither the call nor extensive searches of birth records, hospitals and reports of disappearances revealed more about the unknown baby.

And over the years, although the gendarmerie continues to investigate in the shadows, the file remains unsolved.

Since 2021, however, the gendarmes have had a new tool, indicates Le Parisien. The Unresolved Cases Division (DiANE), a structure dedicated to unresolved cases created specifically within the Judicial Center of the National Gendarmerie.

In this service, experts examine cold cases with a fresh eye, and in particular call on psycho-criminologists or behavioral analysts to draw up a “robot” psychological portrait of the suspects.

There is therefore still hope. In particular thanks to progress in DNA research.

Because the gendarmes can now broaden their investigations and carry out a “kinship search”. That is to say, search the national automated genetic fingerprint file (FNAEG) in search of a family match… and follow the trail until you find the parents of the little stranger.

This new device has recently made it possible to elucidate several cases, and in particular to identify, 30 years later, the little martyrdom of the A10. In July 1987, the 4-year-old girl was found in a ditch along the highway.

And there too, despite the large-scale dissemination of a call for witnesses and numerous investigations, nothing had made it possible to know his first name… Until the day when, in 2018, his brother was arrested in a case of violence : his fingerprints are taken, and suddenly, they match the DNA of the unknown girl. Her name was Inass. Following this discovery, both of his parents were put on trial and imprisoned.