June 14 (UPI) — DNA testing led to the arrest of the parents of a 4-year-old girl found dead near a freeway nearly three decades ago, a French prosecutor said Thursday.
Ahmed Touloub, 66, and Halima Touloub, 64, were under formal investigation after a sampling of their son’s DNA in an unrelated case matched with the DNA of the abandoned and unidentified girl, allowing authorities to trace them.
The parents separated in 2010 and were arrested at their separate homes by French authorities on Tuesday.
The 4-year-old girl, named Inass, was found dead in a ditch with her body clothed and covered in a blanket along the A10 motorway near the city of Blois in 1987. She was nicknamed “little martyr of the A10.”
Her body, which was found covered in human bite marks, and with broken bones and iron burns, was never claimed and her disappearance was never reported.
Blois prosecutor Frédéric Chevallier said the girl was born in Casablanca, Morocco, on July 3, 1983, and lived with her maternal grandmother before rejoining her parents in late 1984 or early 1985.
The case was declared unsolved in 1997 and her DNA information was registered in a national genetic prints database in 2008.
Authorities reopened the case in 2012 with a call for witnesses and a breakthrough was reached when DNA tests of a man arrested for a violent crime in 2016 identified him as her brother.
Months of investigation later led authorities to the parents.
Ahmed Touloub said his wife was violent with him and their children and was relieved the case had been reopened, according to Chevallier. He had found Inass dead after returning from a trip to Morocco.
“He was scared of his wife and lived under her domination,” Chevallier said.
Halima Touloub said she was “occasionally” violent with Inass, but denied any involvement in her death and said her husband was violent.