The US justice system has ordered search engine giant Google to assist in investigations into one of France’s most notorious missing person cases, known as the “Affaire Jubillar”.
Google was required to provide GPS data for a phone belonging to Cédric Jubillar, the husband of missing nurse Delphine Jubillar whom he is suspected of murdering. She has been missing without trace since 2020.
It is hoped that this information could offer more clues to the possible location of the victim’s body and new searches have begun as a result.
Mr Jubillar had an Android smartphone, which collected GPS data linked to his former Google account.
Access to the account reportedly became blocked in 2020 during the initial police investigations, after Mr Jubillar repeatedly entered incorrect answers to security questions when trying to reset his password.
The French justice then made a formal “request for international assistance” to the US in a bid to get access to this Google information.
Investigators had been searching an area near a farm in Cagnac-les-Mines, Tarn, in connection with the case. They have now begun a new search near the Saint-Dalmaze cemetery, not far from the couple's home, as a result of the Google data.
This new search is expected to take a month.
Mr Jubillar, a 34-year-old painter-and-plasterer, denies murder and has claimed he is innocent. He has been detained in the Seysses prison, near Toulouse, since June 18, 2021.
Mr Jubillar was reportedly the last person to see Mrs Jubillar alive.
He claims that 33-year-old Mrs Jubillar (maiden name Aussaguel) left the couple’s house sometime between 23:00 and 04:00 on December 16, 2020, wearing only a white nightgown, and taking only her mobile phone. She has not been seen since.
Investigations into the case revealed that Mrs Jubillar had been having an affair with a man who became known as the “confidante of Montauban”, and that Mr Jubillar had been having an affair with a woman named Séverine, who would later be arrested in connection with the case but released without charge.
In the days prior to her disappearance, Mrs Jubillar had reportedly made contact with the wife of her lover, Cathy M, and agreed a “pact” that Cathy and her husband would separate in January 2021 and that Mrs Jubillar would not contact him until then.
Mrs Jubillar reportedly later reneged on this, sending her lover a photo. The day before Mrs Jubillar disappeared, Cathy M is said to have made 145 calls to an unknown number.
Mr Jubillar was later investigated for suspected murder, after gendarmes said “there was too much evidence against him”.
This evidence is said to include neighbour witness reports of hearing screams from a woman towards 23:00; Mrs Jubillar’s car being left in the opposite direction to the one claimed; condensation inside the car suggesting recent human use; irregular step counts on Mr Jublliar’s phone pedometer; and Mrs Jubillar’s duvet having been in the washing machine when police arrived at the scene at 04:50.
Mr Jubillar is also said to have changed his story and given several conflicting answers when responding to the police investigation, and police said they were surprised at how quickly Mr Jubillar began mourning his wife, suggesting – they claim – that he already knew she had died.
Mr Jubillar has always maintained his innocence.