- French authorities opened a murder investigation after workers discovered a 30-year-old corpse in the basement of an abandoned Paris mansion that recently sold for $US41.2 million, French and international media outlets reported this week.
- A French newspaper reported that the man’s corpse had since been identified and that fractures and stab wounds were found on the body.
- The mansion was sold in January, and workers discovered the body in the basement in late February.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
French workers who were renovating a derelict mansion in Paris earlier this year discovered a decades-old corpse in the basement, prompting authorities to launch a murder investigation, French and international media outlets reported this week.
The mansion at 12 Rue Oudinot, which sold for roughly $US41.2 million in January, has been abandoned since the 1980s, The Guardian reported. Workers found the corpse in late February, though French outlets reported the news in July.
“Everyone was devastated to learn it had been there so long, without any of us knowing,” said Sabine Lebreton, an official from a local organisation dedicated to preserving the property, according to The Guardian.
The police found documents on the corpse that helped identify the body as belonging to Jean-Pierre Renault, the French newspaper Le Monde reported.
Investigators found fractures and stab wounds on the body and determined that Renault had died some 30 years ago, Le Monde reported. A police source told the newspaper that Renault had been homeless and that the exact circumstances around his death were unclear.
“We could imagine a fight with someone else living on the margin… but it’s unclear whether he died in the mansion or was brought there, and we may never find out who was responsible. It’s quite possible the murderer is himself now dead,” the source told Le Monde, according to The Guardian.
Bruno Picard, a lawyer who orchestrated the mansion’s auction earlier this year, told CNN that the workers found the corpse in a spot that no one had checked.
“They found him in a place that had not been visited either by the bailiff who had made the report or by anyone else,” Picard said. “No one had visited the cellar.”
- Read more:
- A volunteer warden at a historic French cathedral confessed to setting it on fire
- A French bus driver died after he was attacked by a group of passengers who refused to wear face masks
- French officials are investigating claims that bodies donated to science were left to rot and were eaten by rats
- French President Macron denounced racism but said the country won’t remove colonial-era statues
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.