Update 18:55 Lausanne, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – Some 20 Swiss, French and Italian police met in Lausanne Wednesday afternoon 30 March with Swiss public prosecutor Pascal Gillerion to share their investigations into the disappearance of twins Alessia and Livia Schepp 30 January.
Despite intensive searches and knowing more details about the trail left by the father, police are still far from establishing the presence of the girls in several areas where the father is now known to have been.
One observer close to the investigations echoed the mood of the public in saying that “whether he did this intentionally or not, the scarcity of clues he left behind is astonishing.”
New details confirm father’s presence in many areas, but not that of his daughters
New details that have emerged, or been confirmed:
- A key one that there is no forensic evidence of the presence of the girls on the ferryboat heading for Corsica, although there is a credible witness.
- The presence of the girls in three Swiss towns and on the ferry has been confirmed only by witnesses, in contrast to the presence of the father in several locations, confirmed by video surveillance cameras.
- French police have checked with every autoroute service station and hotels in the region around Montelimar, where he left the autoroute for the night, but have turned up no evidence of the girls’ presence or other useful details.
The GPS chip from the father’s car has to date provided no useful data, although Italian police are still waiting for a final report from the Korean supplier.
Thorough research into the father’s Internet contacts and telephone calls has provided no useful information.
Investigation will continue
Police say the investigation will continue, concentrating on France, in the Montelimar region and in Corsica, in particular trying to determine precisely the movements of the father, Matthias Schepp.
The three-country investigations up to now have confirmed the following path, and police say they hope the detailed route will help bring forward new witnesses. The joint statement issued by police notes the following:
The Swiss leg of the journey
The route taken by the father of the twins has now been largely worked out thanks to details provided by witnesses and technical details uncovered by investigators. His presence in St Sulpice 30 January around 13:00 (1:00 pm) has been confirmed, then in Préverenges (14:30 / 2:30 pm), Morges (15:51 / 3:51 pm), then Geneva (16:15-18:00 /4:15 pm to 6:00 pm). He was then in the Croix de Rozon region in France (18:04 / 6:04 pm) and Lyons (19:38 / 6:38 pm).
Mid-France to the ferry
He left the A7 autoroute at Montélimar Nord at 20:55 (8:55 pm) Sunday night, then got back on the autoroute at the same place the next morning at 08:44. He then went through the toll gate at Lançon in Provence at 09:55 and was seen in Marseille the same morning in a parking lot (11:30) and at a travel agency, at 12:45 in front of an ATM, bank teller machine, then again at the travel agency early in the afternoon (13:00 / 1:00 pm), where he bought three tickets for a ferry to Corsica.
The ferry to Corsica, the trail to Italy
He took the boat at 16:33 (4:33 pm), leaving Marseille at 18:35 to head to Propriano in Corsica, where he arrived the morning of Tuesday 1 February at 06:30. He was then seen in Bastia the same day at 15:57 (3:57 pm), where he bought a single ticket at 15:45 (3:45 pm). He took the 21:00 (9:00 pm) boat for Toulouse and arrived there Wednesday at 07:00 in the morning.
He then took the autoroute from Nice Capitou at 09:13, heading for Italy. The father of the twins was then seen in the village of Vietri sul Mare, near Naples, shortly before noon Thursday 3 February. He was then in Cerignola at 20:00 (8:00 pm) where he ended his life at 22:47 (10:47 pm).
The father’s presence has been confirmed by a number of video images from surveillance cameras. The presence of the girls, however, has been confirmed only by witnesses: in St Sulpice, Préverenges, Geneva, on the boat between Marseille and Propriano and in Corsica. The images captured in Nice Capitou the Wednesday morning show that Alessia and Livia were not visibly inside their father’s car.
The cost of the investigations has not been a factor in deciding on what procedures to use, Gillerion noted, responding indirectly to accusations by the maternal grandfather of the girls earlier this week.