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Suspect questioned over murder of dismembered cyclist in south France

The suspect is a female relative of the victim, investigators say. The body parts were discovered in bin bags in Pyrénées-Orientales last month

 A view of the Orgues d’Ille-sur-Tet national park

The body parts were found at the base of the Orgues d’Ille-sur-Tet, near to where the cyclist had been riding when he disappeared Pic: Martin Leber / Shutterstock

A suspect is being questioned in connection with the dismembered body of a missing cyclist that was found in the south of France last month.

François Vigouroux, 57, from Ille-sur-Têt near Perpignan in Pyrénées-Orientales, was a keen cyclist, and disappeared after going out for a ride at 17:30 on May 26. He was reported missing by his son after he had not returned for dinner by 19:30.

A murder investigation began after dismembered body parts were found in bin bags in the area, when a local alerted police to a strong smell at the base of the Orgues d’Ille-sur-Têt, a collection of unusual rock formations that attract many visitors. 

On June 22, the body parts were connected to Mr Vigouroux’s disappearance.

Read more: Dismembered body of cyclist found at tourist site in southern France

Such a violent murder shocked locals and investigators, who would normally only consider such a crime to be connected to organised mafia. Yet, friends and family of Mr Vigouroux said he had no such links.

One of his family members told Le Parisien: “François is an electrician, he is not a thug. He comes home every evening to eat at home. He is the most normal man.”

Detectives have now found that the man’s mobile phone was traceable to a spot near to where the body parts were found, but had been turned off at around 18:00 on the day of his disappearance.

The suspect is a 58-year-old woman who was arrested and referred to the Perpignan prosecutor’s office on July 1, said public prosecutor Jean-David Cavaillé. She has since been placed under a formal investigation for murder and held in police custody.

She is said to be a relative of the victim, from the “wider family circle”, but the authorities would not share any further details for fear of unfairly influencing the court case.

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