A father’s disappearance in Mougins: how a fire in the basement reignites the criminal trail

Eighth day of the trial of Nahed Daada and Laurent Lugrezi, co-managers of a restaurant in Mougins, accused of kidnapping Frédéric Castellano and allowing him to disappear. The circuit court is interested in an arson attack.

That night from August 1st to 2nd, 2014, Jérôme – who is due to testify at the bar this morning – is walking his dog on Avenue Pierre-Semard in Grasse when he decides to go through the garages in the basement of the château residence .

Part of the Daada family lives in this building. As a passionate mechanic, Jérôme stores three cars in open boxes. At that moment he meets two men: “A big one, 1.90 m, ears sticking out; and a stockier one with a wound on his forehead”he describes on the log.

The two strangers have parked a gray Renault Scenic in the aisle and seem to be watching a fire behind a box. The smaller of the two men addresses him: “Don’t worry, we can do this. We trust you, you haven’t seen us.” Jerome indicates the presence of a fire extinguisher and then leaves as smoke begins to seep into the basement.

Significant damage

Then he alerts one of his friends, Sofiane, via SMS. The latter has parked a van with groceries and Jérôme fears that the goods will be lost. Sofiane gets out and gets out of her vehicle.

It is the second witness who encounters the arsonists. As Jérôme finishes his walk, he sees disturbing lights coming out of the garages. The fire escalated and spread to vehicles.

The fire brigade is alerted. They are on duty from 1:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. “We drained 500 liters of water per minute. testified this Wednesday a firefighter. The damage is considerable. The concrete structure also suffered.

A major from the Grasse police station seized a burned and sodden aggregate during the investigation. Documents, clothing and personal belongings (wallet, contact lens case) belonging to Frédéric Castellano are discovered. What fuels concerns about his disappearance reported to the gendarmerie on July 30.

A fire expert confirms the malicious nature of this fire. “I discovered a combustion accelerator and several stoves.”he told the court and jury.

The DNA of one of the defendants on a cigarette butt

The flammable liquid intended to destroy Frédéric Castellano’s belongings was able to spread through the shaft at the bottom of the boxes into neighboring cells, where four motorcycles and three vehicles were destroyed. Despite the violence of the fire, Frédéric Castellano’s genetic fingerprint was found on some charred objects…

Several cigarette butts were sealed in the box where two separate fireplaces were lit by the arsonists. The biologists found Laurent Lugrezi’s DNA on one of them. “I’ve lived in this area for ten years.the accused sighed on the first day of the trial.

On the other hand, Nahed Daada’s DNA is nowhere to be found. So why did he try to escape at the risk of his life when he was taken into police custody by the gendarmerie in 2016? He promised to explain himself.

Leave a Comment