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Thousands pay homage to French jogger Alexia Daval

Thousands of joggers across France have paid homage to Alexia Daval this weekend, the 29-year-old jogger who was found dead in a wood in the Haute-Saône on Monday.

The events have notably taken place in Daval’s hometown, Gray.

Yesterday, joggers wore white T-shirts and gathered in the presence of Daval’s family. They then ran a 10km course, including a section that was Daval’s usual running route. Daval’s father also ran.

Today, the same group is undertaking a silent walk in Daval’s honour, led by Daval's parents. 

“[Running] was my daughter’s favourite thing to do, and I encourage everyone to jog and run. We should not have this freedom taken from us,” said Isabelle Fouillot, Daval’s mother, speaking to French news source France Info.

Fouillot added: “I am very touched by everything that has been done [this weekend]. It means such a lot. I say a big thank you to everyone; anyone who has taken place in any kind of activity [for Alexia].”

There have been similar events across France this weekend, in homage to Daval and also in solidarity with female victims of violence and aggressive crimes.

In Besançon, where Daval worked in a bank, around 500 people took place in a 5km race; while in Paris, 200 people - mainly women - also ran 5km from la Place de la Bastille to l’Opera Garnier.

They dressed in black, with a pink detail of their choice, such as a bandana, belt or rucksack.

Over 50 joggers also showed up at the Vieux-Port (Old Port) of Marseille yesterday morning, holding pink balloons and red roses. After one minute of silence, they then ran their own 5km course.

Daval’s partly-burned body was found on Monday, after her husband alerted authorities that she had gone missing while out for a run.

The autopsy report on Friday was described as “conclusive”, and investigators say they now know how Daval died, but the full details are yet to be revealed. Reports suggest she may have been strangled, but did not appear to have been sexually assaulted.

The investigation is also said to be progressing to find her killer.

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