A man, resident of La Caunette, in the Hérault, was placed in custody in connection with the investigation conducted after the discovery of a body in Bize-Minervois (Aude) on 4 January.
The autopsy revealed that the victim was attempting to escape from a sexual assault when she was killed.
According to the forensic findings, the woman died more than 24 hours before the body was discovered. Her death was caused by violent blows on her skull and upper face. She was a native of Minerve.
A judicial investigation was opened at the departmental investigation department in Narbonne, for murder following an attempted rape.
The suspect, whose custody has been extended, is a 31-year-old man who was from Normandy. He lived with his family at La Caunette (34) and knew the victim.
His criminal record indicates several convictions, in particular for acts of conjugal violence.
Three things linked the suspect to the victim:
He was the last person seen with the victim on 1 January.
His cell phone was located three times in Bize-Minervois, where the body of the victim was found: January 1 evening, night and then January 2, in the afternoon.
Finally, a cigarette butt bearing the genetic fingerprint of the suspect was found at the scene of the crime.