Bad meeting or voluntary departure? The disappearance of Julie Michel still unresolved

The first episode of season 5 of Unsolved on RMC Story looks back on the disappearance of Julie Michel, 26, when she went on vacation by car in 2013.

For his big comeback, Unsolved dedicates the first episode of its season 5 to the unresolved disappearance of Julie Michel, 26 years old. At the end of July 2013, the young woman vanishes during her vacation as she criss-crosses France in her car. In Auxerre, her mother is worried: her daughter no longer gives her any news. At the police station, we end up taking the testimony of the mother of the family without much conviction.

Three weeks after Julie’s disappearance, her car was finally found in a parking lot about thirty kilometers from Foix, in Ariège. A witness claims that the vehicle has already been there for a fortnight. Inside, all of the young woman’s belongings were found, including her passport. Only his bank card and the car keys are missing.

“It was a big shock,” says Julie Michel’s mother today.

Especially since the Ariège was not a stage planned in the course of the young woman. How to explain then that she was there?

Suicide trail cleared

A call for witnesses is circulating on social networks and challenges Julie’s relatives: indeed, it was not in her habits not to give news to her friends and family.

The study of his telephony makes it possible to establish that his cell phone stopped transmitting on July 19 in the morning. In a last SMS sent to a friend, she writes that she is undecided on the continuation of her trip.

A witness says he saw the young woman eating near his car and explains that when he parked in the parking lot in the morning, he was alone. A point that excludes the hypothesis that someone would have moved the car of the young woman to cover the tracks.

Very quickly, the trail of suicide also seems unlikely: the young woman had plans to open an art gallery and seemed very fulfilled, report her relatives.

The paraglider and the real estate agent

Law enforcement combed through the scene, to no avail. For her part, the mother of the disappeared person puts up posters in the town where her daughter slept for the last time. A real estate agent touched by his story lends him a hand in his research.

The investigation is then directed towards the theory of a bad meeting. And a testimony will reinforce this conviction: a person says that a paraglider, who had been sleeping in his motorhome in the parking lot for several years, hastily left the scene. But the person concerned says he left the scene on July 6, well before the disappearance of the young woman, and his telephone confirms it.

The behavior of the real estate agent also ends up raising questions. His involvement in the research seems suspicious, especially since three months later, a young woman files a complaint against him for friction in the professional context. “There was just some verbal abuse and one or two silly pranks I played on him,” he said today.

But the complaint is finally dismissed and he ends up being exonerated.

The appeal of Enki’s sect

Finally, a completely different track is considered. In Julie’s computer, her mother finds proof of belonging to a sect dedicated to a god named Enki. The young woman was in contact with a certain Brigitte, a guru who invites her to come and join them to live in osmosis with nature.

“In the email exchanges, Julie was completely in admiration and under the influence of this woman”, explains the mother of the family.

“She had kinds of rituals between prayer and meditation that she did several times a day”, testifies one of her friends. “She really put him on a pedestal, he was her own god”, abounds his sister.

Ten years later, no response

Could Julie Michel then have disappeared voluntarily to fully join the sect? But something is still wrong: why would the young woman leave all her belongings behind, including the material she used for her prayers? Moreover, after checks, the sect of Enki is in Belgium and would not have any establishment in Ariège.

“She would never have left us without news”, still believes her mother.

In 2018, she received a letter from the Foix prosecutor’s office indicating that the file would be closed. Several times, when she received new testimony pointing to a suspicious young man, she tried to contact the prosecutor, without success. In Unsolvedshe makes a last call for help.

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Bad meeting or voluntary departure? The disappearance of Julie Michel still unresolved

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