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article imageBody of 8-Year-Old French Girl Found in Concrete-Filled Container

By Chris Dade     Sep 13, 2009 in Crime
Police in France have revealed that the body of an 8-year-old girl, reported missing by her parents on Wednesday, has been discovered in a concrete-filled container at the workplace of her father.
Last Wednesday police in Le Mans, a city in Northwestern France, were contacted by the parents of Marina Sabatier, an 8-year-old girl who suffered from mild Down's Syndrome. The parents told them that their daughter had disappeared from her father's car whilst it was parked at a McDonalds restaurant.
But now, following the discovery of Marina's body on Friday, those same parents face possible charges of murder or manslaughter, and if found guilty of one of those charges and others related to their self-confessed mistreatment of the young girl, life imprisonment.
The BBC reports that the girl's father and mother, named by the New Zealand Herald as 37-year-old Eric Sabatier and 30-year-old Virginie Darras and the parents of four other children now being cared for by social services, are claiming that their daughter died of natural causes early last month. In their panic they initially hid her body in a freezer. The father eventually removed Marina's body from the freezer and took it to the warehouse where he worked and placed it in a container which he then filled with concrete to conceal the corpse.
However, according to the Telegraph, the prosecutor's office dealing with case have their own thoughts on how the young girl died.
The prosecutor is saying that after being beaten by her parents, with some of the violence she suffered described as being "particularly brutal", Marina was locked in the cellar of a house from which the family has since moved. Her mother allegedly then found her daughter's lifeless body, leaving it to her partner to hide their daughter's corpse first in the freezer and then in the container of concrete.
Details of an autopsy carried out on Marina's body have not been disclosed but the Telegraph quotes prosecutors as saying that her parents have admitted to killing their daughter, not just mistreating her as the BBC claims, because "she was often hungry".
When neighbors and her siblings had inquired as to Marina's whereabouts her mother and father reportedly told them that she had "gone away to the seaside". Her parents supposedly told the police that they reported their daughter missing, possibly kidnapped, as they feared that Marina's school would wonder why she had not returned for a new term.
It is reported that the young girl frequently turned up at school, although she had repeated absences, with bruises and without having been properly fed. Also she had spent time in hospital being treated for sores that had become badly infected. The bruises were always attributed to "accidents".
One previous report of Marina being mistreated was dealt with by the Assistant Prosecutor, with attempts by social services to monitor the young girl and her siblings being hampered by the family's regular moves to new homes.
More about Downs syndrome, France, Murder
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