France Elodie Kulik homicide trial after 17-year struggle for justice

Jacky Kulik, the father of Elodie Kulik who was raped and murdered in 2002, poses with a portrait of his daughter on November 21, 2019 at the courthouse of AmiensPicture copyright

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Elodie Kulik’s father Jacky has by no means given up on discovering justice for his daughter since her homicide

Elodie Kulik was heading house from a restaurant in January 2002 when she was kidnapped, raped after which murdered.

A 24-year-old financial institution supervisor working within the northern French city of Péronne, her automobile was focused in an ambush and as she tried to name emergency providers she was dragged from her automobile.

Regardless of an enormous inquiry, no arrests had been made and the path then went chilly.

Now, after a relentless marketing campaign by her father and ingenious use of DNA, a person has gone on trial 17 years later.

Willy Bardon, 45, denies kidnapping, rape and homicide and sat beside his lawyer because the trial obtained underneath manner at a court docket in Amiens.

Elodie’s father, Jacky Kulik, arrived early for Thursday’s trial. He misplaced his first two youngsters in a automobile accident after they had been 5 and 6 years outdated. His spouse died in 2011 after making an attempt to take her life and ending up in a coma.

Cameras had been allowed within the court docket because the judges arrived.

Why it took so lengthy

The Elodie Kulik homicide case went chilly for a decade, till advances in DNA helped determine one in all her attackers.

The sufferer’s physique was discovered by a farmer on 12 January 2002 on a disused airbase. What was discovered on the crime scene gave investigators proof they had been ready to make use of in 10 years later – though it was unusable on the time.

Elodie had been partly burned by her killers. Traces of semen had been present in a condom together with 4 units of incomplete DNA and a fingerprint.

Whereas police interviewed 10,000 folks and analysed 14,000 telephone information, the DNA samples that they had gathered did not give you a match on the nationwide crime database. There was no broader DNA database on the time and the samples didn’t match anybody examined as a part of the inquiry.

How they discovered a killer

In January 2011, a gendarmerie captain, Emmanuel Pham-Hoai, got here up with the thought of utilizing a way tried out in Wales and within the US however by no means earlier than in France.

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Willy Bardon, seen right here (left) arriving on the court docket in Amiens, denies kidnapping, rape and homicide

As a substitute of on the lookout for a direct DNA match he looked for related matches which may point out a relative throughout the system – often known as familial DNA looking.

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Inside days, the DNA from the condom matched a person already in jail. Detectives informed Le Monde newspaper how they then approached his spouse and had been capable of verify that the pattern matched their youngsters.

They narrowed down their search to Grégory Wiart, a heating engineer who had died in a automobile accident in 2003. His physique was exhumed and police then mentioned they had been positive he was one of many killers.

One different clue

Shortly afterwards police detained seven members of the identical household, together with Willy Bardon, the person on trial. He initially got here from the identical village as Wiart.

Mr Bardon was charged after his voice was linked to the telephone name made by Elodie Kulik to the emergency providers. Male voices had been audible within the background and police say after they performed the tape to Wiart’s family members, 5 of them recognised his voice.

The defendant denies the voice was his. Considered one of his legal professionals, Stéphane Daquo, informed AFP information company this was “the one trial the place everybody who has their DNA on the scene of the crime is a witness and the one one who would not is accused”.

A verdict is predicted in early December.

Extra on DNA and rape:

DNA results in arrests in French chilly case
DNA and particular person freedom v crime prevention

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