Teen French jogger in suspected abduction case reunited with family

·2-min read
Un véhicule de pompiers transporte la joggeuse de 17 ans, retrouvée vivante, le 9 novembre 2021 à Sablé-sur-Sarthe (AFP/JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER)

A 17-year-old French girl who disappeared while jogging, triggering a mass search and kidnapping investigation, was reunited with her family Wednesday, a day after being found in a takeaway restaurant.

Some 200 police officers were deployed in the search for the teen, who went missing on Monday afternoon while jogging in a forest in the Mayenne region of northwest France.

After more than 24 hours she was found in a takeaway in the town of Sable-sur-Sarthe, about 10 kilometres (sux miles) away, where the mayor described her as being in a state of "severe shock".

France Bleu public radio reported that she had taken refuge in the restaurant after telling the owner she had escaped from a gang of kidnappers who snatched her in the forest.

She was taken to hospital for tests and later questioned by police.

The public prosecutor in charge of the investigation gave no details about the circumstances of the girl's disappearance, saying only that police were trying to establish a timeline of events based on her statements.

Prosecutor Celine Maigne added that no-one had been arrested in connection with her disappearance. A man who was taken into custody on Monday night has been cleared of suspicion, Maigne revealed.

Several news outlets reported that the man had called the police several times to try to obtain information about the case, sparking their suspicion.

The girl's parents raised the alarm on Monday evening when she failed to return from her regular afternoon jog.

Investigators used data from her running app which showed that her workout had stopped abruptly at a fork in the woods in Bellebranche forest.

Her father searched the area where she went running and found some of her personal effects.

Maigne said on Tuesday that "no line of investigation" was being ruled out.

She described the girl as "perfectly focused, cared-for, sporty".

France Bleu said that her telephone and earphones had been found with traces of blood on them.

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