Aosta Valley, Italy: 22 year-old French woman found dead in church was searching for ghosts, police say

Rome, Italy

A 22-year-old French woman whose blood-drained body was found in an abandoned church in northern Italy’s Aosta Valley over the weekend had been looking for a haunted house believed to contain ghosts, according to police.

She told family members about her plans before leaving the village near Lyon where she lived, a police spokeswoman in the town of La Salle told CNN.

Police believe the victim could have been attempting to carry out a TikTok stunt, adding that her death could be related to a ghost hunting competition being played in France on the social media platform. The other working theories are that it was a “consented murder” or sacrifice, or an attempt to carry out a social media prank in the deconsecrated church. Police are still searching for a young man who was seen with her. There are also two other missing persons cases in the area which police say could be related.

According to the spokeswoman, the victim and a male friend had been seen in the area dressed “like vampires.” A witness interviewed by police say the young woman was pale and “emaciated” and the man had dark hair and olive skin. The witness told police investigators that she looked like a “walking corpse.”

The dead woman, whose name has not been released, had been stabbed with what investigators say was a camping knife and had bled to death, according to medical examiner Roberto Testi. She also had two gunshots to her neck and one to her abdomen that police say may have been inflicted after she died. Some of the blood had been scraped off the floor and removed from the crime scene, police told CNN. There were no signs of struggle, police say.

Police say they found a package of pink marshmallows and some groceries purchased at a local store near her body and she was wearing beige leggings and a sweatshirt under a long dark coat. The woman had no documents or cellphone on her when a local resident discovered her decomposing body, police say.

The area prosecutor Manlio D’Ambrosi told local media that they are also investigating the presence of a burgundy colored van that was spotted on surveillance footage near the abandoned church last week. A spokesperson from the prosecutor’s office declined to add further details.

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