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Thread: Swiss, Italian and French police search for missing twins

  1. #1

    squareearth Swiss, Italian and French police search for missing twins,,14824880,00.html

    Police in Switzerland, Italy and France ordered fresh searches on Monday for missing twin girls who were snatched from their home in western Switzerland by their father, who has since killed himself.

    Police were using tracker dogs in an area around the train station of Cerignola in southern Italy, where 43-year-old Matthias Kaspar Schepp threw himself in front of a train on Friday.

    Five days before his suicide, Canadian-born Swiss Schepp had abducted Livia and Alessia from the Swiss village of Saint-Sulpice. Schepp and his wife, Irina Lucidi, were separated and had shared custody of the twins.

    No sign of the girls

    After kidnapping the six-year-old twins, Schepp drove them away in a car belonging to his estranged wife. Police believe he traveled to southern France and, in Marseille, bought a ferry ticket to Corsica. He also sent a postcard to his wife, telling her that he could not live without her.

    Police on Monday again appealed for eye witnesses who may have seen the twins or their father along the way to come forward. There has been no sign of the twins since January 30, when they were in Saint-Sulpice near their father's home.

    Alessia was wearing a striped white, pink and red T-shirt, jeans and black boots as well as a white anorak. Livia was dressed in a purple ski anorak and white and pink shoes. They both wore distinctive medical glasses with colorful frames.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Swiss, Italian and French police search for missing twins

    Missing Twins: Mum Makes Emotional TV Plea

    The mother of Swiss twins missing after their father apparently committed suicide by throwing himself under a train in Italy has made an emotional plea for information.

    Lucidi's estranged husband Matthias Schepp from their home in Lausanne in Switzerland on January 30.

    Appearing on Italian television, Irina Lucidi said: "I appeal to all witnesses, all persons who may have seen my daughters Alessia and Livia together with their father before his death."

    The girls have not been seen since Schepp died in Cerignola last Thursday.

    Police in three countries are searching for the girls and a Facebook page has been set up to gather information.

    French authorities believe all three boarded a ferry in Marseille bound for Corsica on January 31. They could not confirm whether the twins left the boat.

    Ms Lucidi added: "The fact that all three were seen in Corsica on a ferry is of course a sign of hope that they may be somewhere in somebody's care.

    "We hope that (their father) took them to Corsica to hand them to someone. We are holding on to that hope. We we will not give up."

    Italian police have interviewed a coffee shop owner in Cerignola in the south of the country, who reported seeing a man and his daughters who matched the twins description.

    Swiss police confirmed the twins' mother was sent more than 4,000 euros from Schepp before his death.

    Two more envelopes containing money were found addressed to the twins' mother in postboxes in Cerignola.

    Anyone with information on the twins has been asked to contact the investigating authorities on +41 21 644 82 31

  3. #3

    Default Re: Swiss, Italian and French police search for missing twins

    Swiss Twins: Dad's Online Search For Poison

    The father of missing Swiss twins trawled the Internet for information on firearms, poisons and suicide days before he apparently killed himself in Italy, Swiss police said.

    An international search for the blonde 6-year-olds, Alessia and Livia, has been under way since last month when their Swiss mother reported them missing.

    And in an ominous sign, Italian authorities now say the father, Matthias Kaspar Schepp, took his daughters to Corsica - but left the French island alone.

    Police spokesman Jean-Christophe Sauterel revealed that analysis of the father's work computer had turned up the new leads and the investigation is also now focusing on his behaviour before he disappeared.

    "Before leaving Switzerland he researched websites for information on firearms and various methods of suicide, different poisoning techniques and ferry timetables," Mr Sauterel said.

    Investigations continue in Switzerland and in Italy, but are now revolving around Corsica."

    Schepp, 43, was found dead on February 3 in the Italian city of Cerignola after apparently throwing himself under a train.

    His Audi A6 was found parked near the station, with no child car seats or children's clothing inside.

    Schepp picked up his daughters on January 30, but did not return them to their mother, Irina Lucidi, that night, or to school the next morning, as planned.

    She has since made an emotional appeal for information about her daughters.

    The parents, who had separated, lived in St. Sulpice, an affluent lakefront community in Lausanne, and police tracked his movement from Lausanne to France using his mobile phone signal.

    He left Lausanne with the girls in the afternoon and the next day withdrew 7,500 euros (£6,300) in cash in Marseille before buying three tickets for the French island of Corsica.

    Several witnesses have come forward to say they saw the twins with their father on the boat, notably in the children's play area. One witness has formally recognized the father at the port in Propriano on the morning of February 1.

    Before leaving Switzerland he researched websites for information on firearms and various methods of suicide, different poisoning techniques and ferry timetables

    Police spokesman Jean-Christophe Sauterel on the missing girls' father
    Mr Sauterel said the father looked at sites about firearms on January 27 - the day he wrote a will police later found in his home and three days before he disappeared with the girls.

    "Two days before he fled he looked up information about different poisoning techniques and timetables for ferries between Marseille and Corsica," Mr Sauterel said.

    "The information shows that the father had planned the trip in detail."

    Police are still investigating if Schepp's online research into poisons was self-directed, or aimed at his children.

    Anyone with information on the twins has been asked to contact the investigating authorities on +41 21 644 82 31.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Swiss, Italian and French police search for missing twins

    Italy: Swiss father of missing twins wrote wife she'd never see daughters again

    Foggia, 11 Feb. (AKI) - The Swiss father of missing six-year-old twin girls wrote his estranged wife that she will never she her children again, unnamed sources close to the investigation told Adnkronos.

    "You'll never see Alessia and Livia again," wrote Matthias Schepp, 42, in a letter to Irina Lucid, before he ended his own life on 3 February by leaping in front of a train in the southern Italian town of Cerignola, the sources said.

    Investigators in France, Italy and Switzerland are working in Interpol to trace the whereabouts of the blond twin girls who were taken by their father from the Swiss village of St. Sulpice on 28 January, before travelling to France and Italy.

    Police have said Schepp surfed websites on suicide, guns and poison before killing himself.

    The history of his computer work showed he'd consulted the websites, as well as sites with ferry schedules. Police said he had been spotted on 31 January travelling with the twins on a ferry headed from Marseille for the French island of Corsica.

    "These factors show that the father had carefully planned his journey," Lausanne, Switzerland police spokesman Jean-Christophe Sauterel told reporters late Thursday.

    "The investigation is now focusing on trying to establish more precisely the movements of the father from Tuesday noon, when he arrived in Corsica with the girls, until Thursday noon, when he was in the region of Naples," said Sauterel.

    Schepp had been given custody of his daughters for the weekend, but did not return them to their mother. The parents, who were in the midst of divorce proceedings, lived in St. Sulpice, a wealthy lakefront community in Lausanne. They had joint custody of their twin daugters.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Swiss, Italian and French police search for missing twins

    Police check 'mystery woman' in missing twins hunt

  6. #6

    Default Re: Swiss, Italian and French police search for missing twins

    Missing twins: father’s GPS, car key found, say Italian police

    Geneva and Lausanne, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Police in southern Italy have found the GPS navigation system of Matthias Schepp, the father of the missing twins Alessia and Livia, age 6. Italian news agency Ansa reported the news Tuesday 15 February, citing Foggia region police chief Alfredo Fabbrocini.

    The agency also reports that traces of blood were found on rocks on the Corsican beaches searched over the weekend by police, but it hasn’t yet been determined if the blood is human, or if so, if there is any link to the missing girls.

    The father’s GPS was found, torn apart, scattered along the railroad tracks near where the father committed suicide. Police fear they will not be able to piece it together to obtain useful information about the last movements of the father, in the hope of knowing more about where he left the twins.

    Police from Italy, Switzerland and France are meeting Wednesday 16 February in Marseille to better pool their information and decide on the next step. The meeting was originally scheduled for today, Tuesday, but was postponed for logistical reasons, according to French police.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Swiss, Italian and French police search for missing twins

    Gps gives no clues, girls probably never arrived in Italy. Swiss police say no link to rumoured connections with missing woman

  8. #8

    Default Re: Swiss, Italian and French police search for missing twins

    Missing children: family of Alessia and Livia seeks volunteers

    Geneva and Lausanne, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – The family of the two missing six-year-old girls, Alessia and Livia, is seeking volunteers to help in the search for the children. The Lucidi family has decided to centralize all research efforts in addition to police work through the Swiss Missing network.

    The group, which actively gathers and shares information on missing persons in Switzerland, asks anyone who can offer volunteer help to register online. The form is in French, German and Italian, but it is not complicated.

    The Lucidi family, on its Facebook page for the missing twins, is now pointing volunteers to the Swiss Missing site and asking those who signed up as volunteers to do so again on Facebook:

    Swiss Missing told the Tribune de Geneve Thursday afternoon 3 March that it already has between 100 and 200 volunteers and it is in the process of verifying the registrations. Once this task is done the group will work with the family and the police to use the volunteers. The girls’ mother, Irina, told a Swiss magazine, Illustre, that some 200 students from Geneva have volunteered and that the group includes dog handlers and speleologists.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Swiss, Italian and French police search for missing twins

    Possible clue found in search for missing twins

    The GPS chip from the car belonging to the father of Swiss twins who disappeared a month ago was found in southern Italy on Saturday.

    Police and volunteers have been combing the area around Cerignola, where the father threw himself in front of a train on February 3.

    They are still looking for the recorder the man is said to have always carried, in the hope that it will provide information about the fate of the six-year old girls.

    Meanwhile the chip has been sent to the Milan branch of the manufacturer to be analysed and will probably be sent on to the headquarters in the United States.

    A local police official told the AFP news agency that the chip had been buried beneath some stones. He warned that it was not clear whether it would prove to be a major advance in the inquiry.

    The police hope that if they can track the man’s movements exactly, they can narrow down the search for the daughters. However, investigators fear he may have done his best to destroy the evidence by taking the GPS device with him when he killed himself. Fragments have already been found near the track and have yielded very little.

    The girls, who lived with their mother in the Lausanne suburb of St Sulpice, have been missing since the end of January, when their father failed to return them to their school after they had spent the weekend with him.

    In a letter he wrote to his estranged wife just before his suicide he said he had killed them.

    The search has involved police in Switzerland, France and Italy.

    Police in Marseille said on Friday they believed the father had been in the area of the French town of Montélimar on the night of January 30, and appealed for witnesses.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Swiss, Italian and French police search for missing twins

    Police find nothing during 2-day search, mother of missing twins faces press

    Geneva / Lausanne, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Police in canton Vaud say a large-scale two-day search for missing twins Alessia and Livia is over, with nothing found. The search, using 11 dogs from three countries, specially trained to search for dead bodies, turned up no trace of the girls or their father. “The search did not provide any new material for the investigation,” noted police spokesperson Jean-Christophe Sauterel in a statement issued late Friday.

    The search for the missing children will continue in Switzerland, France and Italy.

    It was prompted by new information offered by a witness 6 April, who told police he saw a man dragging a suitcase Sunday 30 January about 16:00, in the Boiron area.

    Some 100 potential witnesses in the area were interviewed over the two days, says Sauterel, people who live or work in the area, including employees at dumps, fishermen and people who use the shooting range near the Boiron beach, site of the dog-tracking search.

    The search involved more than 200 people, including 150 from the area’s Civil Protection unit alone, with dog handlers and their animals covering an area approximately 2.3 kilometres long and 150-400 metres wide on land.

    The lake search involved Lake Brigade police from Vaud and Geneva who carried out what police call “a minutieuse search around the mouth of the Boiron river and the lake zone, an area 300 metres wide and 700 metres long, starting from the mouth of the Boiron.” They used remote-controlled robots, or vehicles, and multibeam echo lasers, multibeam swath bathymetry, a sophisticated system for underwater searches.

    The entire area was blocked off, with police stationed every 100 metres along the lake road between St Prex’s eastern edge and the Tolochenaz roundabout, and red and white tape keeping out the public to allow the investigators to work in peace. Police boats kept other boats away just off the shore.

    Mother says family took walks in searched area
    Irina Lucidi, the mother of missing six-year-old twins Alessia and Livia Schepp, called a press conference Friday afternoon 15 April in Morges to thank police for undertaking a large-scale hunt for her daughters, who disappeared with their father from St Sulpice 30 January.

    Matthias Schepp, the father of the girls, committed suicide five days after leaving with his daughters, driving to the south of France, Corsica and southern Italy. Police in Italy, France and Switzerland have been looking for the children since then; the father sent his wife a letter from Italy saying that he had killed them.

    Irina Lucidi had told him a few days before he left with the children that their marriage was over and she wanted a divorce.

    Her press conference was held at the tennis club on the west side of Morges, not far from the area where police have been carrying out an intensive dog-tracking search for the past two days, based on new information provided 6 April by a witness. Police searched the Boiron river mouth and beach area, where the witness says he saw a man dragging a suitcase Sunday 30 January, about 16:00.

    Irina Lucidi told reporters Friday afternoon that she and her husband and the girls often walked in that area, just to the east of St Prex, near the lake road at Tolochenaz. The lakefront is not open to the public between St Prex and the beach, but from the beach it is possible to walk to Morges, about 3 kms.

    Police say that concerning the possible death of the twins, investigators remain open to all possibilities.

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