When my kids were growing up there were always loads of other kids to hang around with. Just a little further out of the village were two houses that were a little bit "rough". We were pretty sure they were dealing some form of illegal drugs out of the one - you know the kind - no visible sign of income but loads of big cars. Not sure, but I think the police were well aware of this place.
In the house next door were another family, and my kids were friendly with one of their sons - Jean-Michel. Jean-Michel was a skinny little devil and I always had the feeling that he hung around with kids younger than himself (principally my oldest son's age group) in order to feel like he was "the big guy". Still, he wasn't a bad lad, maybe a bit rough around the edges. I'm not sure where the dad was - if indeed he was around - but mom seemed like a pretty decent lady.
As time went by and our kids grew up we pretty much lost track of Jean-Michel. Occasionally you would see him on his scooter with this blooming great big dog sitting between his legs on the footrest of the scooter. It was pretty comical to see (if probably rather dangerous).
Anyway, about 3 years ago, Jean-Michel simply disappeared into thin air - or so it would seem - along with his dogs. Nobody had any news of him or had any idea why he might have left or where he had gone to.
Every morning I glance through the local Geneva newspaper, which also runs stories on the surrounding French area. They had a short article last week where a hunter had stumbled across human remains in the mountains above a place called Cluses. Well, my son came home last night and told me that the remains had been found to be those of Jean-Michel!!! I still can't believe it! From what they can gather he had taken his dogs off walking up in the mountains and must have fallen. The area where he was found was pretty inaccessible and despite numerous searches he had never been spotted, nor have his dogs been found.
How terribly sad to think that he has lain out in the mountains for these past three years. At least his mom can now give him a decent burial - but it breaks my heart to think about it.