Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès was arrested in Glasgow
One of France's most wanted men was arrested in Scotland last night, eight years after disappearing without a trace following the murder of his wife and four children.
Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes, 58, was the subject of an international arrest warrant for the 2011 murder in a mystery that has transpierced France.
He was found "on the run" after the bodies of Agnès, 49, and the children Tomas, 21, Arthur, 18, Anne, 16 and Benoit, 13, were found buried in the garden. from the family home in Nantes. , west of France, with their two pets Labradors.
The aristocratic businessman was arrested Friday at Glasgow Airport after arriving by a flight from Paris, according to two French sources close to the investigation.
The sources confirmed the match of fingerprints, but one of them said that a DNA analysis was underway to ensure that she was "totally safe" .
According to another source, Dupont de Ligonnes was traveling with a stolen French passport and had probably spent some of his time on the run in Britain.
He is suspected of having shot his family and buried him under the terrace of their elegant townhouse in Nantes, in the west of the country.
Their bodies were found three weeks after the killings. During this period, Dupont de Ligonnes reportedly told the school of his teenage children that he had been transferred to a job in Australia.
He reportedly told friends that he was a US secret agent who participated in a witness protection program.
Top left: Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes, his wife Agnes and Arthur; bottom left: Tomas, Anne and Benoit
Parents and friends attend a funeral ceremony in front of the Saint Félix Church, Nantes, on April 28, 2011, in memory of the Dupont de Ligonnes family
People hold the casket of a member of the Dupont de Ligonnes family at funerals
French prosecutors said he had killed his five victims during a "methodical execution", firing them twice in the head, at close range, with a weapon equipped with a silencer.
It is thought that he covered them with quicklime and wrapped in sheets before burying them under concrete.
Earlier Friday, police discovered the suspect at Charles de Gaulle airport in the French capital, but did not have enough time to seize it. They therefore alerted the British police, who confirmed that an arrest had been made.
The man "remains in custody under a European arrest warrant issued by the French authorities," said a spokeswoman for the Scottish police.
Photo taken on April 22, 2011 by French policemen stands guard in front of the home of the Dupont de Ligonnes family in Nantes in western France after the French authorities launched an international search alert for Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes
Xavier Dupont de Ligonnes smiling, a cigarette in his hand, in the garden of his house in Nantes in August 2003
A photo of Benoit Dupont of Ligonnes, one of five members of the Dupont de Ligonnes family, sitting in front of their house, where they were discovered in April 2011.
French newspaper Liberation reported that Dupont de Ligonnes had undergone plastic surgery to change his face, citing police sources.
For years, France has been wondering how Dupont de Ligonnes disappeared without a trace, some suggesting that he may have committed suicide. Hundreds of reported sightings only add to the mystery.
In 2015, a letter and a photo of two of his sons, bearing his name and the message "I'm still alive," were delivered to an AFP reporter, but the experts did not could verify the authenticity.
The alleged assassin escaped a police attack in the Var, south of France, last January, after witnesses reported seeing a man resembling him near a monastery.
Hundreds of people take part in a march on April 26, 2011 in Nantes, in the west of France, in memory of the five families Dupont de Ligonnes.
The alleged murderer escaped a police attack in the Var, southern France, last January, after witnesses reported seeing a man resembling him near a monastery (photo: Nantes, April 2011). ).
Europol is the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, which contributed to the De Ligonnès hunt for eight years (photo: Police suing De Ligonnès in the south of France) .
Last night, the French media announced that De Ligonnès had been arrested at Glasgow Airport following a flight from Paris.
"He was traveling under a false identity and had completely changed appearance," said an investigative source.
"He did not try to resist an arrest, but the information provided matched what is on a Europol search card. It is now subject to double checking. He is now in the hands of the Scottish police.
Europol is the EU law enforcement cooperation agency that has been helping De Ligonnès hunt for eight years.
Last year, police searched underground caves and abandoned potassium mines in the Roquebrune-sur-Argens region of southern France, where De Ligonnès was spotted by a CCTV camera in April. 2011.
He had fled Nantes a few days earlier after his neighbors said they had not seen the family for more than three weeks.
The detectives who visited initially found a sliced leg under the garden terrace, then discovered the bodies of those who had been killed.
De Ligonnès is native of Versailles, home of kings and queens of the pre-revolutionary period of France. He was technically a count able to trace his lineage from generation to generation.
A police seal on the door of the family home of Dupont de Ligonnes in Nantes after the French authorities launched an international search alert
De Ligonnès was arrested at Glasgow Airport after a flight from Paris and was traveling under a false identity
In confiscated emails, he declared himself to be part of a Roman Catholic elite superior to the "masses".
"I think I have a superiority complex, you can call it like that," he writes. "But this is based on a simple observation: I belong to a group of intelligent, determined, balanced and physically and morally healthy people. These people are rare compared to the masses.
Recalling his strict and devout childhood, De Ligonnès added: "All my adolescence has been devoted to religion and faith, under the influence of my grandmother and my mother. So much so that I did not rebel like other teenagers, nor took drugs nor ran after the girls. & # 39;
De Ligonnès was last seen on April 15, 2011, as he was leaving a budget hotel in Roquebrune-sur-Argens, abandoning his car there.
He was carrying a backpack as he walked through a parking lot to the surrounding countryside and was photographed by a camera.
Extensive searches were carried out in the region between April and June 2011 and, acting on new information, the police took them back last year without finding anything.
The French authorities have been searching for Dupont de Ligonnès without success since the discovery of the bodies of his wife Agnès and his four children – Arthur, Thomas, Anne and Benoit (photo: the French police looking for Ligonnès in April 2011).
According to one theory, De Ligonnès could have committed suicide in the days following the massacre, in which case the police were looking for remains of his body.
However, prosecutors had never ruled out the possibility of De Ligonnès living in the street, or being hid by members of his extended family, who own country houses in France.
The ancestors of De Ligonnès, including the poet Lamartine of the nineteenth century, lived originally in a province of southern France called Rouergue.
Five months before the murders, De Ligonnès said that he had inherited the .22 rifle from his father and that he had started training to target in a shooting club in Nantes.
The receipts found in his home also reveal that he had bought a muffler, a shovel, a two-wheeled cart, lime, and other equipment that could have been used to bury the bodies.
It also appeared that De Ligonnès, who ran several Internet businesses, was experiencing serious financial difficulties. Among those to whom he asked for money was a mistress in Paris.
According to Scottish police, the "fingerprints" of the arrested man correspond to those recorded for De Ligonnès, French media reported.