Cotentin. Unsolved murder of Antoinette Lenepveu: her body exhumed 40 years after the events

Cotentin. Unsolved murder of Antoinette Lenepveu: her body exhumed 40 years after the events
Cotentin. Unsolved murder of Antoinette Lenepveu: her body exhumed 40 years after the events


Ludivine Laniepce

Published on

June 20, 2024 at 6:44 a.m.

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One of the nieces of Antoinette and Auguste Lenepveu did not expect this vision which she will not soon forget. When she recently went to Saint-Laurent chapel cemeteryon the heights of Nacqueville (Manche), to honor the members of the Lenepveu family who are buried there, a surprise awaits him on the occasion of this annual pilgrimage: “Antoinette’s body has been removed! »

“It’s a shock when you don’t expect it”

Antoinette, this aunt widowed by marriage whom she visited regularly when she was a young bride, and for whom she hopes one day that justice be done.

It’s a shock when you don’t expect it. The hole has been filled in and I assume my uncle is still there but their funerary monument was placed on the grave next door, where there are also family members. We were not warned, neither by the town hall, nor by the person who ordered this. Of course we wouldn’t have objected to it, but it’s still very funny to come across this.

A niece of Antoinette

At the other end of the Franceone of Antoinette Lenepveu’s granddaughters, descended from her grandmother’s first marriage, is also surprised by this approach to which she was only superficially associated.

The possibility of an exhumation which could make it possible to find new traces was raised in September 2023 by the investigators and I gave my verbal agreement. But after that, I never had any follow-up.

A granddaughter of Antoinette

The National Unit for Serial or Unsolved Crimes of the Nanterre Judicial Court (Hauts-de-Seine), known as the “cold cases” unit, confirmed to La Presse de la Manche that the exhumation of the victim took place on Tuesday November 7, 2023. “And in the greatest secrecy,” adds a local player in this operation.

For Antoinette Lenepveu’s niece and granddaughter, past the “shock” and the “surprise”, the news ultimately proves encouraging in an attempt to shed light on the death of octogenarian killed in the evening of Monday June 20, 1983 at his home, at La Glacerie.

A file as old as it is complex

A little over a year ago, approaching 40e “anniversary” of the disappearance of Antoinette Lenepveu, the “cold cases” center of Nanterre reopened this investigation which is among the unsolved crimesthe most mysterious of North Cotentinwith the assassination of Serge Le Petit, 17 years old, in Landemer in 1969 .

Since the creation of the “cold cases” unit, the case of Antoinette Lenepveu had been placed at the top of the pile of unresolved cases which would be given priority to these wasted time investigators. A file as old as it is complex but for which resolution still seems reasonably possible.

We are aware that this affair is still very present in people’s minds in Cherbourg.

An OCRVP investigator

More than forty years after the assassination of Antoinette Lenepveu, could her body still provide information?

In cases of unsolved cases in France, exhumations are relatively common. This is the case with the bodies of Fabrice Ladoux, 12 years old, raped and killed in 1989 in Isère, of Christophe Doire, 28 years old, a hunter found decapitated in 1995 in Allier, or of Paquita Parra, 30 years old, found charred in her car which was set on fire in 1998 in Charente. Their exhumations were carried out in recent years.

To complete an instruction

Judicial exhumations make it possible to complete an instructionby re-examining the causes of death leading from new DNA expertiseor a forensic autopsy.

Seven months after her exhumation, more than forty years after her death, the remains of Antoinette Lenepveu could still help to resolve part of the mystery.

Antoinette Lenepveu celebrating her 80th birthday, a few months before the tragedy. ©Archives La Presse de la Manche

Investigators are renewing their call for witnesses. Anyone with information is invited to contact them by email at [email protected]. A future detailed call for witnesses on the Internet is also being considered by the magistrates.

Discover or rediscover our series dedicated to the Antoinette Lenepveu affair:

The mystery of the headless woman (1/7):
On June 21, 1983, a body lay in the Divette

The mystery of the headless woman (2/7):
Quincampoix: story of a disenchanted valley

The mystery of the headless woman (3/7):
1902-1930: journey of an “unhappily married” woman

The mystery of the headless woman (4/7):
1930-1953: in the lost footsteps of Antoinette

The mystery of the headless woman (5/7):
1953-1983: a new start in Cherbourg

The mystery of the headless woman (6/7):
Those that Antoinette Lenepveu leaves behind

The mystery of the headless woman (7/7):
Since 1983, the case which has “obsessed” investigators

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