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Body in France identified as missing woman

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Body in France identified as missing woman
Photo: Neuchâtel cantonal police
11:24 CET+01:00
The body of a woman found in the woods in a French village close to the Swiss border has been identified as that of Latifa Houri, 24, reported missing more than two months ago from La Chaux-de-Fonds in the canton of Neuchâtel, officials said on Thursday.

The woman’s 28-year-old husband told investigators that she died after an altercation between the couple on January 6th, Swiss prosecutor Daniel Hirsch told a televised press conference in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

The husband has admitted carrying the woman’s body, which he dumped in the woods, Hirsch said, in Charquement, a village in France about 25 kilometres from La Chaux-de-Fonds.

However, other declarations by the husband have been contradictory, he said.

Until the discovery of the woman’s body, the man had repeatedly denied any involvement in Houri’s disappearance.

The French couple, originally from Alsace, were separated after moving to La Chaux-de-Fonds in October 2014, according to earlier police reports.

Latifa Houri’s parents reported the disappearance of their daughter to police on January 8th.

Her husband was subsequently detained for questioning but his comments about how he spent his time after his wife’s disappearance were imprecise, police said.

The body found by people walking in the woods in Charquement last Saturday is “very certainly that of Latifa,” police chief Philippe Bongard said.

While officials do not yet have the results of DNA tests, the woman has been identified through dental records.

An autopsy showed signs of a homicide but investigators have not said specifically how she died.

At the time of her disappearance, the victim had been living in a shelter for mistreated women.

However, police said they were unaware of any previous cases of violence involving the couple.

The investigation into the case is continuing. 

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