Girl, 9, vanishes from French Alps wedding

Maelys de Araujo, 9, disappeared at a wedding in the French Alps.
Maelys de Araujo, 9, disappeared at a wedding in the French Alps.

Police fear that a nine-year-old girl who went missing from a wedding in the French Alps may have been kidnapped.

Maelys de Araujo was last seen in a playroom in the village hall in the small town of Chambery, southeastern France.

She disappeared at some point after 3am on Sunday morning.

The wedding ended with the guests searching for Maelys after the DJ announced she had vanished.

Police launched a full-scale hunt after Maelys was declared formally missing for 48 hours.

They said they could not rule out "criminal possibility", and that "each passing hour" makes kidnapping a more likely possibility than Maelys running away of her own accord.

Regional police chief Yves Marzin said three police sniffer dogs all lost Maelys' scent at the same spot in the venue car park.

"One of the possible theories is that little Maelys left in a car, one way or another," Marzin said.

So far 140 out of 250 people have been questioned by police - a group that includes the 180 wedding guests as well as people attending other parties in town on Saturday night.

Locals of Pont-de-Beauvoisin have joined in the search, putting up posters of Maelys in shop windows.