One year after the sentence of life imprisonment for the kidnapping and murder of little Maëlys, 8, during a wedding party in Pont-de-Beauvoisin (Isère) on August 27, 2017 from Nordahl Lelandais, Gaëlle Bardosse, the investigating judge in this case, has agreed to break the silence. Monday February 13, 2023, she answered questions from our colleagues at RTL. For four years, with two other colleagues, she led all the investigations of this terrible news item. The opportunity for her to come back to her face-to-face with the one who was found guilty in this case. “During his interrogation, he will deny everything. The day before, I had received the result of an expert’s report revealing that Maëlys’ DNA had been found on the ignition button of the headlights of his vehicle. Despite this, he continues to contest”, she said, referring to the police custody of September 3, 2017 of the criminal.

His fight to make Nordahl Lelandais confess lasted six months. “When he is shown the CCTV images of Pont-de-Beauvoisin which captured his passage, he will formally deny that it is his vehicle, that the white shape on the passenger seat is Maëlys. We do not understand not that he locks himself into this denial. While the gendarmes, the experts, the parents, we the magistrates, we saw Maëlys, with the round neck of her dress. But no, he does not want to admit it ” , she continued before having managed to crack him with the discovery of a very small trace of blood in his trunk.

Gaëlle Bardosse: “There was a lot of adrenaline, anxiety, stress”

Now 51, Gaëlle Bardosse is convinced that this case is “a once-in-a-lifetime case”. She went through all the stages of emotion and was overwhelmed. “There was a lot of adrenaline, anxiety, stress. My loved ones told me about it every day. It’s a whirlwind, personal, professional. I had never known this pressure. That’s it which was infernal”, further explained the investigating judge.

"That was what was infernal": the judge in the Maëlys case speaks for the first time

Illustration of little Maëlys © Pascal Fayolle

Maria T.
Maria T.

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