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Ludovic Bertin's Facebook page.

Death of Victorine riles France – suspect took part in tribute march

More than two weeks after the discovery of the body of Victorine Dartois, the prosecutor of Grenoble announced the arrest of an individual on Wednesday, October 14, who has admitted having killed the young student of 18 years, according to several media outlets.

Published: October 17, 2020, 6:55 am

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    After several days of investigation, the gendarmes arrested a black 25-year-old father, known to the courts for narcotics offences. The suspect Ludovic Bertin, whose parents are from Martinique, had even joined the march in tribute to the horrific rape and killing of the young girl, a few days before.

    The motivation of the suspect remains a mystery, but he is described as a “local petty delinquent” according to Le Parisien. According to several testimonies, he even participated in the march organized on October 4 in Villefontaine (Isère) in tribute to Victorine, which had gathered some 6 000 people, reported LCI.

    The suspect is known to the courts in particular for cases related to narcotics crimes. The father of a toddler appears on his Facebook profile on an expensive motorbike, in a swimming pool with a sea view or sitting on the hood of a luxury car, according to the Ile-de-France daily.

    One of his old friends described the tumultuous relationship between the suspect and his wife. Another evoked the regular consumption of cocaine. In Villefontaine, Ludovic Bertin lived less than a kilometer from the home of Victorine Dartois’ parents, or less than ten minutes on foot from a small stream where the body of the young woman was found.

    Shortly after his arrest, the suspect was also taken to the scene of the discovery of Victorine’s body, according to LCI. It was a question of confronting him with the realities observed on the ground by the technicians in criminal identification. Analyzes were also carried out on Bertin’s clothes to compare the genetic fingerprint of the suspect and the DNA elements collected on the personal effects of the deceased.

    The suspect is said to have become “angry” after an altercation with the victim. According to Le Parisien, Ludovic Bertin declared in police custody that he had killed the young woman after an exchange that upset him.

    He met the young student in a parking lot in Villefontaine while she was walking home, after an afternoon spent at the shopping center. Ludovic Bertin approached her with a sexual intent and was probably rejected which lead to a heated discussion with her. During this exchange, he allegedly became so annoyed by comments made by Victorine Dartois, that he dragged her off and raped her before killing her.

    He has been convicted several times already, in particular for carrying a weapon, theft and vandalism when he was still a minor. In 2019, the Lyon court condemned him for burglaries committed in eastern Lyon during 2017 and 2018.

    Thus known to the courts in particular for narcotics crimes, Ludovic Bertin was described as a “local petty delinquent” by a source close to the investigation.

    “This Wednesday, October 14, 2020 afternoon, the custody of the man suspected of the murder of Victorine Dartois was extended by an examining magistrate from Grenoble. This individual, domiciled in the same commune as that of the victim, is known to the gendarmerie and justice services for various common law offenses. In the interest of the current investigations, it is not possible at this stage to give more information,” Boris Duffau, Deputy Public Prosecutor announced.

    According to sources, investigators have found DNA evidence on Victorine’s clothes, Dauphiné Libéré reported. Shortly before the discovery of the body, Sylvie Dartois, the mother of  the young woman , had made a call on RTL in a bid to find her daughter.

    Patricia, Victorine’s aunt, collapsed when interviewed by RTL after the girl’s body was found: “It’s awful. There are no words. Victorine was 18 years old, her life was taken from her. I do not understand how one can act like this. I hope they will stop the one or those who committed these atrocities and broke a whole family.”

    Victorine had disappeared after contacting her relatives to tell them that she was on her way home.

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