“I loved my daughter very much, I would like to take her back, but how? I would like her to come back, but how?”, launched in a choked voice Thi Huong Le Tan, 50, the mother of Sophie, whose remarks in Vietnamese were translated by an interpreter.

Marking several pauses, the sentences interspersed with sobs, Mrs. Le Tan evoked the memory of her daughter, “main person of the family” but who “now is no longer there”.

“I no longer have a future, like the family”, continued Ms. Le Tan, who remembers that, for Sophie’s 20th birthday, “we wanted a big birthday”, when her daughter disappeared on September 7. 2018, precisely the day she was supposed to blow out her 20th birthday.

After several minutes of struggling with her pain, the 50-year-old finally let go: “I’m in too much pain, I want to stop”.

One of the defense lawyers, Me Francis Metzger, then stands up: “Madam, we bow to your pain”. At the same time, face down in his box, Jean-Marc Reiser lowers his mask and wipes his eyes.

Also very moved, modest in the expression of their suffering, Sophie’s older brother, Philippe, 24, and his sister Sylvie, 21, had also previously mentioned Sophie’s memory and the “key role” that she occupied within the Le Tan family, who lives in Cernay (Haut-Rhin).

Since his death, “it’s been a real ordeal to move forward,” says the eldest. “Sophie was a great person, she brought a lot of good to those around her,” continued Sylvie.

Since her death, “it’s not the same, it has really changed, there is no more joy, no way to be happy”, blows Sophie’s little sister.

Student Sophie Le Tan disappeared after visiting an apartment north of Strasbourg. Investigators quickly managed to trace the author of the rental ad, Jean-Marc Reiser.

He ended up confessing in early 2021 to having killed and dismembered Sophie, whose incomplete skeleton was discovered in the forest, but denies having premeditated his act and setting a trap for him.