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A man was found beheaded by French hunters on Christmas Day, 1995. His widow has just been charged.

French authorities on Thursday charged a woman with involvement in the murder of her husband, nearly 27 years after he was beheaded in a crime that has since remained unsolved.

Christophe Doyer, 28, was found beheaded on Christmas Day, 1995, around the town of Busset in the Auvergne region of central France.

Regional prosecutor Eric Neveau said the 56-year-old widow, who has not been named, was taken into custody on Tuesday and then charged and remanded in custody by a magistrate on Thursday.

“Serious and conclusive evidence points to his involvement in the murder of Christophe Doerr,” he told reporters, adding that he was charged with murder and could face 30 years in prison if convicted.

“The investigation should continue to identify and arrest other characters,” he said, adding that elements suggested the woman was “not alone during this process”.

He clarified that it was not possible to make other information public at this stage, but said he had made “inconsistent” statements and failed to provide a “credible explanation”, Le Parisien reported.

The move comes after Doyer’s body was excavated in April to conduct new tests. Nevu clarified that during interrogation the widow had denied any involvement in the murder.

According to Le Parisien, Doyer and his wife had an argument on December 16, 1985, when he dropped a plug-in hair dryer while taking a bath. The newspaper reported that Doyer was furious and went to spend the night with his brother.

Doyer had disappeared after spending the evening at his brother’s. He left shortly before midnight saying that he was going to hunt the next day.

His car was found but there was no trace of him until his body was found in a ditch by the poachers. He was identified by his papers and clothes in his possession.

Cases were opened twice against the suspects, in 2000 and 2002, but they were dropped on both occasions and the crime has remained one of France’s most notorious cold cases over the years.



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