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Mourners bid farewell to murdered Vaud woman

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Mourners bid farewell to murdered Vaud woman
Marie: her death has elicited an outpouring of sympathy — and calls for tougher treatment of criminals. Photo: Vaud cantonal police
21:08 CEST+02:00
A protestant church at Villars in the canton of Vaud was overflowing with mourners on Monday for the funeral of Marie, the 19-year-old woman killed earlier this month by a convicted murderer.

Around 500 people attended the 90-minute memorial service, too many to fit in the stone church in the mountain town, so people were forced to stand outside, according to the ATS news agency.

“The unspeakable will not have the last word,” pastor Pierre Maffli said during the service, ATS reported.

“We must refuse the hatred that would stain our hearts,” Maffli said.

“God is here, he cries with us.”

Well-wishers left dozens of notes of condolences and support.

The mayor of Villars, Jean-Luc Chollet, told the congregation that “all the community was profoundly touched.”

Marie was buried on Monday morning.

She was kidnapped on May 13th near Payerne, where she was living, by a 36-year-old man under house arrest, who was wearing an electronic ankle bracelet while serving a sentence for abducting, raping and killing a former girlfriend.

Marie was found dead in a wood in the canton of Fribourg two days later following the arrest of a man identified as Claude Dubois.

The case has caused a popular outcry, with questions raised about how a man with such a record could have been at liberty.

Last week, the head of the Vaud cantonal government, Pierre-Yves Maillard, made a solemn declaration before parliament in support of the family, expressing both sympathy and “horror” over what happened.

Maillard noted that the results of an investigation ordered into the case by the cantonal court are expected at the end of June. 

In the wake of Marie’s death, authorities in the canton of Vaud have already decided to no longer allow prisoners classified as dangerous to wear electronic bracelets.

Marie, originally from Madagascar, was the offspring of a mixed marriage.

Her father, another pastor in Villars, has refused to back a call for tougher criminal penalties in Switzerland.

“You are a bastion of love in face of horror and the unthinkable,” he told the church gathering.

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