French 17-year-old feared abducted while jogging

French Laval's attorney Céline Maigné (left) gives a press conference in Laval, 9 November 2021
Prosecutor Céline Maigné (L) said teams of officers were searching a large woodland area

Police in north-western France are searching for a young jogger and have opened an inquiry into her abduction.

The 17-year-old, who has not been named, disappeared on Monday afternoon in the French district of Mayenne.

Her father raised the alarm when he found her phone and GPS watch on her running route after she failed to return home as usual.

Some 200 police officers, rescue dogs, divers and a helicopter have joined the search, covering woodland and a river.

Local prosecutor Céline Maigné told a news conference that the inquiry was initially seen as a “worrying disappearance” but was now classed as an abduction and holding someone against their will.

The teenager, described as a regular runner, left her home for the local Bellebranche forest at around 16:00 on Monday. Her father contacted police less than three hours later, after discovering items belonging to his daughter that had traces of blood.

“The current investigation has only just begun and there are many lines of inquiry,” Ms Maigné said, adding that teams were searching a partly wooded area with stretches of water of about 190 hectares (470 acres).

She appealed to residents not to join the search so as not to get in the way of investigators.

She said police were interviewing an individual related to the case due to some inconsistencies in initial statements made to officers but did not suggest he was a suspect.

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