128. Closed Circuit

Part 3 of the 'Perfectionism' series. (Starts here.)

HI LUC, I HOPE you got my phone message. I have some CCTV footage I’d like you to have a look at involving that girl who spoke an unknown language who was found in GĂ©nos last month. She went missing and this footage indicates her last known whereabouts. It shows all nine camera angles at the Total gas station on the E80 motorway south of town from 7:34am to 8:11am. The screen is divided into nine. You will first see the girl on camera 3. She is very young, but precisely how young is hard to say – she is at any rate almost definitely sexually mature, if not of the age of consent. Her hair is long and fair and she is excruciatingly thin and poorly dressed for such a cold morning: a tracksuit jacket, a short white skirt and what appear to be white sneakers. She approaches the driver and they talk for less than a minute. My instinct is they are talking separate languages – one of them is not French, possibly both. He appears to give her some money from his pocket, and the girl walks out of frame and enters camera 6, which is inside the station store, where she pays for the petrol, obtains from the cashier the key to the toilets and, with the change which by arrangement no doubt she has been authorised to keep, she buys two coffee-machine coffees. Her interaction with the cashier about the key to the toilet involves a good degree of negotiation and hand signalling, which indicates to me that they are not speaking the same language. She then exits the store. Meanwhile, the truckdriver back on camera 3 finishes filling up the truck and walks towards the entrance of the toilets, which is in the frame of camera 8. The girl joins him there and they sip on their coffees and continue their conversation. She touches the truckdriver’s jacket three times as if she is examining it. They then enter the toilet and remain in it for a total of eight minutes. There is no footage inside the toilet, although it’s not difficult to guess what transpired there. She exits first, wearing the jacket, and he second, tucking his shirt into his trousers. They part ways without looking at each other and the driver hauls himself into the cabin of the truck and drives off. The girl is once again seen on camera 6 buying a bag full of food items and on camera 3 talking to another truckdriver. This time he helps her enter the cabin of the truck and drives off. We've checked the logs of the two trucks in question and they indicate both trucks were heading to Spain, although we haven't been able to track down the drivers. We assume the girl is now in Spain, but we have found no more precise indication of her whereabouts. I confess I have become somewhat obsessed with this girl and before we close the case I’d like you to have a look at it and let me know if you notice anything that could take it further. Thanks, Jeanne