Six years of research and finally a discovery. In September 2016, Éric Foray disappeared without a trace when he went to buy bread in Chatuzange-Le-Goubet, in Drôme. The 47-year-old man, with short graying hair, goes to do some shopping at the supermarket located two kilometers from his home, then he goes to the bakery. The stores’ CCTV cameras capture the last images of him alive, as he disappears on his return, along with his vehicle.
At the start of the investigation, the prosecution opened an investigation for “kidnapping and forcible confinement”, but the various searches carried out by the gendarmes yielded nothing. At the time, his companion Régis Pique launched numerous calls for witnesses in the region, but also on social networks, which also yielded nothing and Éric Foray remained untraceable. Did he have a bad encounter?
This Wednesday, January 4, the parquet floor of Valence announced that the skull of Éric Foray was discovered in the Vercors. In a press release quoted by BFMTV, the public prosecutor of Valence indicates: “The causes of Eric Foray’s death remain to be discovered, like the rest of his remains. For the time being, no hypothesis has been ruled out, including that leading to intentional homicide”. If this is a “major development” of the investigation, nothing yet explains the disappearance of the forties in 2016.
“By an additional indictment dated January 3, 2023, the Valence public prosecutor’s office extended the referral to the investigating judge to the qualification of murder, so that he now continues to elucidate the circumstances, if any, criminal of the death ” by Éric Foray, adds the press release from the public prosecutor. Could the Nordahl Lelandais track be the right one?
The investigation into the disappearance of Eric Foray stalled for two years, without giving anything, until June 2018 when a new track was mentioned, that of Nordahl Lelandais. As BFMTV explains, the gendarmerie then launched a new call for witnesses to obtain information on two separate disappearances, that of Éric Foray and that of Nelly Balmain, wanted since 2011. The order then seeks to make a link with the murderer of little Maëlys.
A link is indeed found in 2018, but it gives nothing. The Ariane unit, in charge of cold cases that could be linked to Nordahl Lelandais, discovers that Éric Foray’s last name appears in the address book of the former dog handler. A false lead reminds BFMTV, because “it was in fact a friend of Lelandais, who had been heard and who had no connection with Éric Foray”.
Does the recent discovery of the skull change anything?
The analyzes carried out on the skull of Éric Foray did not make it possible to determine the causes of death, but the Lelandais track is ruled out. Me Bernard Boulloud, lawyer for Régis Pique, explains to the Parisian: “Today, after checks which could be carried out by the services of the gendarmerie, the Lelandais track is to be excluded”.
“The fact that Éric Foray’s vehicle has never been found is still a worrying sign. And when we see the videos of the two stores that Éric visited just before he disappeared, we see that he was completely smiling, calm. He obviously had no suicidal desires, “adds the lawyer to our colleagues.
Asked by Le Parisien, Eric Foray’s companion explains that he only wants “to know the truth, that we find the person who hurt Eric, that he pays and that justice is done”.