Body in river may be missing model: French police

Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:34pm EST
 
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PARIS (Reuters) - A body found in the river Seine is believed to be that of former top model Katoucha who disappeared near her houseboat in Paris earlier this month, French police said on Thursday.

She had been missing since returning to the houseboat moored near the city centre after a party earlier this month.

"There are indications that it is indeed her, but we are awaiting the results of forensic tests before we can confirm it officially," a police spokesman said.

Katoucha, aged 47 and originally from Guinea, was one of the first black African models to become a global catwalk star in the 1980s. She modeled for designers including Yves Saint-Laurent and Christian Lacroix.

Born Katoucha Niane, she became a campaigner against genital mutilation, a procedure she underwent herself at the age of nine.

(Writing by James Mackenzie; editing by Andrew Dobbie)