French Police said on Friday that a man confessed to killing his wife, who had been missing for two and a half months in western France, and led investigators to her body.
Karine Esquivillon, 54, a mother of five, went missing on March 27 from her home in the Pays de la Loire region of western France.
Her cell phone, which was missing a SIM card but contained a photograph of one of her daughters, was discovered two weeks later in a ditch near a parking lot by the commune’s mayor.
While police appealed for witnesses to come forward, her husband Michel Pialle described Esquivillon as having “voluntarily” left, although some family members cast doubt on the claim.
By the end of May, Pialle told AFP that his “anxiety was growing stronger with each passing day”.
Pialle was taken into police custody Wednesday as a search of the family home was conducted, with the couple’s two vehicles seized by investigators.
He eventually told investigators he had killed his wife accidentally while handling a gun, a source close to the investigation said, confirming reports made by the daily Le Parisien.
“Mr Pialle made the choice to explain himself,” said his lawyer Antoine Ory in a text message to AFP.
Pialle admitted the facts and “indicated to investigators where to find her body,” public prosecutor Emmanuelle Lepissier told AFP in a text message.
Her body was found in a forested area several kilometres from the couple’s home, according to Le Parisien.
Pialle, 50, was expected to be brought before the La-Roche-sur-Yon court Friday morning, according to an AFP correspondent.