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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Frenchman’s remains verified

Frenchman’s remains verified

Frenchman’s remains verified

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French forensic police analysis of DNA has confirmed bones found in a pond in Kampong Speu province are those of French national Laurent Vallier and his four children, the French Embassy in Phnom Penh said yesterday.

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The cause of Vallier and his four children’s deaths, however, is yet to be confirmed and Cambodia has agreed to France conducting further investigations on the remains in Paris.

“A judicial inquiry had been initiated in France, further to the complaint lodged by the Vallier family,” the statement reads. “The provincial court of Kampong Speu has also initiated a judicial inquiry.”

Vallier, 42, and four children – two sons and two daughters aged 2 to 11 – went missing in September.

Their remains were found in a submerged car in a pond near their house on January 15.

Police told the Post on January 30 that their initial investigations had led them to believe Vallier deliberately drove himself and his children into the pond.

“The car doors were locked and the car was found in third gear . . . police suspect the children were drugged before they were placed in the car,” police spokesman Kirt Chantarith said at the time.

Vallier’s father-in-law Tith Chhun said yesterday, however, that police had not given him a reason why they thought Vallier had committed suicide.

“I don’t believe that my son-in-law committed suicide, because he was a good person and loved his family so much – he had no reason to kill himself. But I have to follow the results [found] by police.”

Vallier’s wife died while giving birth to their youngest son, Mickeal, her father told the Post in January.

Sam Sa Moun, deputy police chief in Kampong Speu province, said yesterday he had already asked for the provincial court to investigate the matter further because he did not want to wait longer for results from the French Embassy.

Kirt Chantharith could not be reached yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at [email protected]

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