The forensic police noted three different footprints and handprints in Vanessa Lagesse's bungalow. These are the words of Sergeant Keseven Vengatasamy, on Monday June 3, 2024 in the Assize Court, who was testifying in the trial brought against Bernard Maigrot for the murder of Vanessa Lagesse, found dead on March 9, 2001 at her bungalow in Grand- Bay.

Sergeant Keseven Vengatasamy, assigned to the forensic police, and Chief Investigator (CI) Poonoosamy Moonesawmy, who was then assigned there, were to collect prints and take samples to submit to the Forensic Science Laboratory for expertise. Samples were also sent to the Huntington laboratory in England and to a laboratory in Bordeaux for further examination.

The two witnesses described the state of Vanessa Lagesse's house when they arrived. They gained access through the kitchen at the back of the house. They say they saw a trail of blood from a secondary bedroom through the dining room to the bathroom. There were clothes scattered on the floor in the bedroom where there was a pool of blood. The master bedroom was tidy.

Sergeant Vengatasamy was presented with four photos of footprints, where he identified three distinct prints, including one belonging to a woman. This trace was found in the secondary bedroom, while another was near the living room door, outside the bedroom in question. He also confirmed the presence of handprints on the secondary bedroom door and in the bathroom. The police officer said he took blood samples from the bedrooms, the bathroom and the bathtub in which Vanessa Lagesse's body was discovered. CI Moonesawmy described Vanessa Lagesse's position in the bathtub. His head was resting at the bottom of the bathtub, without the presence of water, and a piece of clothing was wrapped around his body. He reported that she wore a garnet top pulled up to her elbow. The police said they had been to the Maigrots' house to examine the footprints and that nothing had been secured there.

On the other hand, Senior Inspector Bhageloo, assigned to the Major Crime Investigation Team, claims to have presented 80 exhibits during the preliminary investigation. However, only two were this Monday at the Assises, notably an envelope and a garment with gray and white stripes. The investigator explains that he swore an affidavit detailing the chronology of events in this case.

To a question from Me Gavin Glover, SC, and lawyer for Bernard Maigrot, the investigator confirmed that two French police officers experienced in cold cases, Commander Philippe Bishop and Captain Nicolas Pajani, proposed four solutions to resolve this murder: DNA analysis of evidence using new technology; an in-depth investigation into tangible aspects; examination of the versions provided by two witnesses; and the exploration of theft as a possible motive for the crime.

The trial continues this Tuesday, June 4 before Judge Luchmyparsad Aujayeb. Bernard Maigrot pleads not guilty.

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