The 22-year-old disappeared in 1991 on the Cote d’Azur, during a tour of several pharmacies for her work. The “cold case” center in Nanterre has just reopened its case.
31 years after her daughter’s disappearance, Annie Odoi knows the file by heart. “You’ll be a very good policewoman, madam,” she told her several years ago, “but don’t interfere.” Now, hope is reborn for the mother of Marie-Helen, who disappeared on the Cote d’Azur in 1991: the new “cold case” center in Nanterre has reopened the file since 2013.
“It’s a tremendous hope,” Annie Odoi tells BFMTV.com. “At least, Mary Helen isn’t ‘nothing’ anymore. We make it happen, we talk about her, we don’t forget her.”
“I’ll be back next week”
On May 21, 1991, a 22-year-old pharmacy representative, Mary Helen Odoy, left for a tour from the Maritime Alps to the Alps as part of her job. She left her home in Cagnes-sur-Mer, about fifteen kilometers from Nice, and began several visits to pharmacies.
At about 2:15 that day she left a pharmacy in Monaco, where she leaves a note for the pharmacist she knows well. “I’ll be back next week. Kisses,” she wrote. This is the last trace the young woman leaves behind.
The next day, the employer became concerned. He manages to reach Stephen, Mary Helen’s companion, but is also unable to locate the young woman. Annie Odoi and her husband were warned, they tried to contact her in turn, without result.
Voluntary departure path ‘too unreliable’
Feeling that the police aren’t struggling to find their daughter, Annie and her husband end up searching for them, just days after Mary Helen goes missing. For them, it is impossible to imagine that the young woman left alone.
“She loved life, her family, her friends,” says Annie-Odoi. “She had a job and a lover, and she just moved in with him…If she wanted to leave, she would have told us.”
Therefore, the first track that she and her husband considered was a car accident, and their daughter had to drive through Hautes-Alpes for several days. Annie Odoi will go so far as to rent a helicopter to be able to verify that the car is not in a ravine. Searches yield nothing.
“to be sure”
However, Mary Helen’s mother does not give up. She opens a phone line to collect possible testimonies (still active, at 04.92.91.06.23), neglects any hypothesis, approaches other mothers whose children have disappeared, and discovers criminals present in the area at the time of the crime. facts.
In Cannes, we see her walking on the Croisette, a banner with her daughter’s photo in her hands, in the middle of the Cannes Film Festival. Mary Helen’s long, straight brown hair and green eyes are pervasive in these widely distributed photos. Some think they recognize her in unlikely places. what ever. His motto with each new testimony is: “You have to be clear about it.”
So Annie Odoi dug up all the leads and checked out every detail herself, even going to Spain and flipping through the pages of a glamor magazine we thought we saw her daughter in. But nothing works out: despite the sometimes disturbing resemblance, Mary Helen has never been before her Annie.
Twenty years of investigation and dismissal orders
If several people were charged in the case, including a Swiss businessman suspected of pandering, all these hypotheses would have led to dismissal.
At the same time, Annie-Odoi advises the investigators to look for the side of her daughter’s lover, and more specifically about the woman who kept the latter and who has already shown strong signs of jealousy towards Mary Helen. While this path is mentioned from the beginning of the investigation, the woman in question will not be questioned until five years after the disappearance. Again, the session was unsuccessful.
Mary Helen’s mother said, “There was a delay in everything. And it was these delays that hurt the discovery of the truth so badly.”
At the end of the 2013 investigation, the sky fell on his head. “It’s as if Mary Helen has gone missing for the second time. More research and more investigations… For parents, it’s very hard to accept,” Annie Odoi breathes.
“The fact that the investigations were not conducted according to the rules of art initially certainly led to a judicial failure,” an analysis with BFMTV.com Me Sophie Jonquet, Annie Audoye’s attorney.
“That’s why we place so much hope in this pole, whose new scientific and investigative techniques can make it possible to advance the cause,” she continues.
With the support of Judge Sabine Khreis, who resolved the Estelle Mouzin case by extracting a confession from serial killer Michel Fournier, the case is in good hands, says Annie Odoy. “May we finally know, understand and find our daughter’s trail. If I think she’s dead, I hope she’s alive.”