when scientific experts hold the key to the investigation

On 04/12/2003 Mario, 14, returns to Haute-Savoie for the school holidays. He has to find his mother Graziella, his stepfather Xavier Flactif, his half brothers and half sisters. When he arrives there is no one to greet him. The house is empty, spotless, the fridge full. Worried, the teenager alerted the gendarmerie.

“The local gendarmes, the search brigade and the public prosecutor assume that we are still confronted an event that is not normal. It’s not an easy disappearance, it’s even less an easy weekend,” he explains General Francois Daoust in voices of crime. During the case, he was deputy director of the scientific gendarmerie and chief of operations.

The five members of the Flactif family are registered in the missing persons file. For a week a team of multidisciplinary scientists from the IRCGN, the Criminal Research Institute of the National Gendarmerie every corner of the chalet. It is the first time that a
Coordination of forensic operations is established in the history of the gendarmerie.

It’s milk tooth enamel… So children’s teeth


General Francois Daoust

The Bluestar shows many bloodstains and tiny white shards being found. The experienced dentist points out that these are pieces of teeth. “And he goes further by saying it’s enamel, but the enamel of milk teeth. So these are children’s teeth. And since, the scenario is getting more and more macabre”remembers General François Daoust.

Two days later, the family’s vehicle was found in a nearby airport parking lot. AT There are traces of blood inside, especially in the trunk, where bodies are believed to have been transported. On May 5, 2003, The analysis of the samples confirms that it is indeed the DNA of the five family members and indicates this the presence of a sixth DNA, still unknown. “At the time, we knew from the vehicle that the five people who had disappeared We will never see her alive again.”says the general.


At the same time, the gendarmes realize that the family is little appreciated by the neighborhood. The father, Xavier Flactif, is a controversial and jealous real estate developer. The speeches against him from the couple next door, David and Alexandra Hotyat, who also happen to be tenants of the organizer, are all the more violent. One hundred DNA samples are taken from the neighborhood and from relatives of the Flactif family. The DNA found at the crime scenes matches that of David Hotyat, who will then the prime suspect in this fivefold murder. He is taken into custody.

To the Prepare to confront the offender and get him to confess his crime, the gendarmes work with the department of behavioral research. “You have to have strong, indexical arguments that show that there is no escape and that you cannot deny the obvious,” says the general. David Hotyat walks by during the interrogation immediately confesses and even admits to having done it burned the bodies.

We are not looking for bodies, but for elements of bodies


General Francois Daoust

Hotyat then leads the gendarmes to the site of the cremation in the Forest of Thônes. Nature has regained her rights, ano trace is visible to the eye not. “It’s not bodies we’re looking for, though Body Parts”, explains François Daoust. Biologists, odontologists and anthropologists are then mobilized to survey the field.

A long time ago, the main defendant delivers several publications. One in particular where he was allegedly beaten unconscious by two men while visiting family to explain about it Real estate promises not kept by Xavier Flactif. When he woke up all the Flactif were dead and the two men would have forced him to decimate the five bodies. A track that is quickly discarded by everyone scientific elements that overwhelm David Hotyat.

Enough evidence is gathered to materialize the crimes. The traces left show that the defendant did in fact kill Xavier Flactif and then eliminated all the witnesses. On the other hand, these indicate that the individual could not have acted alone. Three other people, including his wife Alexandra, will be charged and brought to justice during the trial, which will show that jealousy appears to be at the center of the fivefold murder…

For General François Daoust this investigation and his scientific expertise show “a Evolution of crime scene processing. In total, more than 1,000 seals were conducted by the experts in this textbook affair. This macabre story also shaped the general personally. “Enamel showing children killed with relentlessness is hard to take for the young daddy I was then”he confides.

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