Missing French girls Emeline and Melissa found safe

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Sunday, July 9, 2006

Two small girls, who were reported as kidnapped on Saturday in the French western town of Bouillé-Ménard (Maine-et-Loire), have been found safe in their village.

A kidnap alert was issued by French Ministry of Justice to be broadcast on radio, television and by print media, the first alert to be issued since the system was instituted in February.

The girls, Emeline and Melissa aged 10 and 8 years old respectively, were reported as missing at 3 p.m. CEST (1300 UTC) on Saturday and were found with neighbours. Police officer Bertrand Delpierre told LCI television the exact circumstances of the disappearance were going to be examined in detail.

"They seemed to be following, against their will, an individual of European type of an average height and size," read a statement from the Ministry of Justice. The statement also said that the suspect had tattoos on his arms, one of which appears to be that of a ram. About 200 officers had been working on the case.