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French actor'stragedy  grips nation

A French actor's daughter is missing and the nation has been gripped by the case.
French actor Roland GiraudAP file
/ Source: The Associated Press

Actor Roland Giraud has been the focus of two spotlights — onstage and off — as France followed ominous developments in the disappearance and presumed death of his only child.

Geraldine Giraud, 36, and a friend dropped from sight early last month after going to the Giraud country home for a weekend; a suspect who lived nearby has been in custody since Nov. 23.

On Monday, the story French media have dubbed “The Giraud Affair” neared its denouement, as officials awaited the results of DNA tests to confirm the identities of bodies found near the Giraud country home.

Giraud, who soared to fame in 1985 with the French version of “Three Men and a Baby,” has remained publicly silent in the six weeks since his daughter and 32-year-old Katia Lherbier vanished while staying at La Postelle, about 60 miles southeast of Paris.

Steely professionalism
The actor has continued his run in a Paris play, taking the stage for nightly performances in the lead role of “Avis de Tempete.” His steely professionalism has won ovations from audiences, Le Parisien newspaper reported in an article that declared: “The Show Goes On.”

Last week, investigators found the decomposed bodies of Giraud’s daughter, an actress, and Lherbier at the bottom of a dry well on the property of Jean-Pierre Treiber, who was arrested weeks ago as the prime suspect in their disappearances.

Autopsies identified the two women, and investigators were awaiting results of DNA tests. Preliminary findings indicated the women were suffocated.

Police and investigators said one body bore a scar identical to one Geraldine Giraud had, and the other wore a ring that belonged to Lherbier.

Treiber, a 41-year-old forestry worker who lived near the Giraud country home, was arrested after security cameras caught him using the women’s bank cards. Searches of his home and garden turned up a key chain with keys to the Giraud home and to Geraldine Giraud’s Paris apartment. Investigators also found burned clothing, some buttons and a burned cell phone.