Yesterday an interview with Marie’s father, Pastor Antoine Schluchter, was posted online in the periodical La Liberté. This incredible story was written by journalist Maud Tornare. Here it is, translated to the best of my ability:
Marie’s Father: “We do not want anger in our hearts”
It is after a long and heavy wait, full of hope and anguish, that Marie’s parents must now face the incomprehensible: the death of their daughter, killed by an insane murderer shortly after her 19th birthday.
“Although we have seen our daughter, we still cannot believe it. We haven’t yet processed the irrevocable fact of her death,” confided Antoine Schluchter. At the other end of the line, the voice of Marie’s father is fragile, broken by long silences that speak for themselves of the immense suffering her parents are enduring.
Their daughter Marie had been living since September with a friend of her father’s in Payerne where she was apprenticed in the restaurant of a golf club. Born in Madagascar, the young woman went home regularly to visit her adoptive parents.
After living in France for many years, the family returned here five years ago. Before the kidnapping, the couple had never heard of Claude duBois, the man with whom Marie had recently formed a relationship and who coldly murdered her and abandoned her body in the forest.
“We’re haunted by the fear she must have gone through,” said her father. “But at the same time, my wife and I are borne up by a hope that is stronger than everything else.”
Pastor at Villars-sur-Ollon, Antoine Schluchter affirms that he finds the strength to overcome this trial through his faith in God. “I often doubt myself, but never the love of Christ. This tragedy has not weakened our confidence in God, but has strengthened it,” he explains, weighing each of his words carefully.
Marie’s parents want to express thanks for the incredible support they have received from their neighbors and also from complete strangers. The tragedy has created an international solidarity that extends well beyond Switzerland.
“This support and this caring expressed by many are so important to us. I learned that the members of a mosque in a Moroccan village prayed all night for our daughter. This is something incredibly deep. We have received support from the United States where our other daughter lives, and there have been so many gestures of friendship from people here, too,” the pastor recounted with great emotion.
Not the least sign of rebellion or anger appears in the words of Pastor Schluchter—not even toward the system of justice that allowed the murderer of his daughter, a man with a serious criminal past, to commit once again an irreparable wrong.
“I have only one wish: that a tragedy like this one we are living through would bring about a realization, better follow-up and handling of cases like this. What happened to my daughter is something incomprehensible, but we do not want to fill our hearts with anger nor be at the forefront of a battle that we do not care to fight.”
What can one say after reading such a story? Just this:
“To God be the glory” and “Dear God, please bless this dear family.”