Brice Louge, a very popular farm worker, had been missing since February 20, 2022 in Comminges in Labarthe-Rivière. His body was finally found on Tuesday evening in the Camon Canal, submerged 5 meters deep in his car. Between questioning and relief, the friends who had been looking for him for months wonder. The channel had already been surveyed.
Brice Louge’s friends are in shock. The discovery of a body, more than five months after the young farm worker’s disappearance, is undoubtedly the last news they would have liked to receive. But it is also the end of a long period of anxiety. Yesterday morning, the faithful among the faithful found refuge with Marie Nadalet, the mayor of Valentine, who went to support Annie and Michel, the parents of their lifelong friend. Not wanting to talk, not making eye contact after so many months of searching in vain for Brice. “With the young people, we traveled 4,000 km in the 15 days after his disappearance to find him. You have to understand,’ says the first city council member, also very close to the parents of the young man who had not given any signs of life since 20 February.
Francis did not belong to the first circle, but he also spared no pains during the search with his hunting friends. Eyes in the vagueness, in a broken hothouse in Labarthe-Rivière, he imagines the pain of Brice’s parents as he looks at his son Lucas. Brice, in whom he saw “someone very friendly, kind, who loved hunting, nature, someone very simple”.
Francis does not comment on the circumstances surrounding the tragedy. For him, “we have to wait for the conclusions of the investigation”. But at the table of pensioners who have started a game of belote in the shade of the trees, on the other side of the square, one wonders. “Why did the gendarmes take so long to find him. Stop messing around! With the means we have now…”
The circumstances surrounding Brice’s hasty departure on the night of February 19-20, 2022 are on everyone’s mind. Rumors, Claire Vougny, the mayor of Labarthe-Rivière, has heard a lot. So the night before she returned to the village, when she received the disastrous phone call from the gendarmerie at 11.15pm on Tuesday, she thought a lot about what had happened. And today, it’s a message of reconciliation that she intends to deliver before she has to see Brice’s parents on Thursday. “Unfortunately we are losing a young person and in catastrophic circumstances. There is no logic in losing a young person. I thank everyone who supported Annie and Michel. Everyone stood behind them. We will continue to support them. But we must not forget the employers in Brice, who are more isolated because of the situation. »
If the trail of the accident or suicide is confirmed, Claire Vougny hopes that “it will also allow this family to be left alone and that all the most absurd, stupid or inappropriate accusations that may have been made will be dismissed.”
For her, it is two families from Labarthe that have been painfully affected in recent months. Two families who deserve to find peace.
The discovery of the body five months after the disappearance calls into question the mayors of Valentine and Labarthe
Marie Nadalet, the mayor of Valentine, like Claire Vougny, the mayor of Labarthe-Rivière, is well aware of the questions raised by the inhabitants of the two towns, very close to Saint-Gaudens.
In the days following Brice Louge’s disappearance, the investigators and villagers participating in the research found neither signs of slowing down nor a damaged barrier along the Camon Canal. Despite this, the channel was investigated. In vain. And the investigators had no more success in the spring when EDF lent them an underwater drone. So, in light of the unexpected discovery of the body thanks to the Klein 4900 sonar that arrived from eastern France this week, Marie Nadalet expresses regret: “It’s a shame we didn’t use this equipment from the beginning. Knowing that Brice was in nearby, all the time, it’s painful, especially after all the research we’ve done. It was a shock to know he was there, very close.
Death of Brice Louge: The body of the agricultural worker was found in a canal near Saint-Gaudens
“How could we have missed the vehicle for the past five months? Even if it was underwater, it raises a lot of questions,” Claire admits. But as Marie says, “the most important thing is to have found it.” And thus having “closed a door” in the short list of hypotheses that the investigators were working on.
The voluntary disappearance after a disturbing event, Claire Vougny didn’t believe that anyway. “It was against his profile that he went a long way without telling his parents. He was very close to them. He would have told them if he had wanted to go.”
Disturbing disappearance of Brice Louge in Comminges: “The hypothesis of voluntary disappearance does not hold”
Annie and Michel rather feared an accident. The discovery of Brice’s body unfortunately confirmed them in their analysis. Their son did not reach more than 200 meters on the night of the tragedy. Claire wonders… “Unless the current brought the vehicle back there. What is the actual point of the car’s entry into the canal? We don’t know.”
According to Marie, “we have to wait for the autopsy to be sure and mourn. Waiting again, “for the parents who have to learn to live without Brice, their only son, it tries”, confides the mayor of Valentine. But the moment of truth is approaching. The vehicle’s technical expertise will allow everyone to close the final door and put an end to all the rumors so that everyone can finally begin the work of grieving.