It has been 53 days since 2-year-old Émile mysteriously vanished from his grandparents' garden in the small mountain village of Vernet in southern France.
Despite extensive search efforts involving both the police and hundreds of volunteers, there are still no leads on the young boy's whereabouts. Now, for the first time, the parents are breaking their silence in an interview with the magazine Famille Chretienne.
In the interview, parents Colomban and Marie express their deep concern and despair. "We are imagining the worst," says father Colomban according to Dagens.se.
Despite the long period that has elapsed and Émile's young age, the parents are clinging to hope.
"Sometimes we are overwhelmed by anxiety and sorrow. But we also have moments of renewed hope," adds mother Marie.
The mayor of Vernet, François Balique, has previously stated that the greatest chance of finding Émile alive is if he has been kidnapped.
"Our only hope now is that he was kidnapped and is alive. That's the last thing we can hope for," he says.
The parents thank everyone who has contributed to the search and emphasize that they have full confidence in the police. They also dismiss speculations that their political views could have anything to do with Émile's disappearance. "We have nothing to hide. We haven't done anything reprehensible," they say.