Man believed to be suspect in 2011 French family killing arrested in Scotland

The Dupont de Ligonnès family home in Nantes, France, on April 22, 2011.
The Dupont de Ligonnès family home in Nantes, France, on April 22, 2011. Jean-Sébastien Evrard, AFP

Police say a man believed to be a French fugitive accused of killing his wife and four children was arrested in Scotland after eight years on the run.


A French police spokesman told the Associated Press that Glasgow police detained a man Friday who appears to be Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès. The spokesman said authorities are working to confirm his identity.

The arrest was made in the Scottish city following a tip off in French authorities’ search for Dupont de Ligonnès, an informed source told AFP.

Officers had earlier picked out the suspect at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport as he prepared to board a flight to Glasgow.

After the plane landed he was fingerprinted, Scottish police said. French police said the fingerprints identified him as Dupont de Ligonnès, French sources close to the investigation told AFP.

Dupont de Ligonnès, who was the subject of an international arrest warrant, evaded a police dragnet in the Var region of southern France in January last year after witnesses reported seeing a man resembling him near a monastery.

A businessman from an aristocratic family, he is suspected of murdering his wife and their children in April 2011 in the western city of Nantes before burying them under the terrace of their elegant townhouse.

French prosecutors said he killed his victims in a “methodical execution”, firing two bullets from a silenced weapon at close range into their heads, before he rolled them in lime and buried them under cement.

Dupont de Ligonnès reportedly told his teenage children’s private Catholic high school that he had been transferred to a job in Australia.

He allegedly told friends he was a US secret agent who was being taken into a witness protection programme.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and AP)

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning