$41 Million Mansion Renovation Uncovers 30-Year-Old Mystery

After spending big money to acquire an exclusive Parisian mansion in the Seventh District, the new owners came to discover that a body was in the basement of the home. The property had been abandoned since the mid-18th century. 

The individual was found in a place that hadn’t been visited by the bailiff, the property managers, or anyone else affiliated with the auction.

Authorities believe that the man had been there for approximately 30 years. While police have opened an active homicide investigation, the new owners are starting the renovation process.

It Is an Impressive Parisian Property

Why would someone spend over $40 million on a Parisian mansion that hadn’t been maintained in over a century?

It’s the perfect combination of location and space. The property contains an inner courtyard and private gardens, along with some significant square footage.

The crumbling mansion will have 17,000 square feet of usable space once the restoration process is complete. 

Investment banker Jean-Bernard Lafonta purchased the property after a 15-minute bidding war. He ended up paying six times the reserve price, which is located just down the road from the French prime minister’s private residence.

During the initial investigation, law enforcement officials noted knife wounds on the body, along with several broken bones. The individual was identified as Jean-Pierre Renaud.

Who Was the Victim in This Case?

Although no one really knows the motive behind the apparent murder, Renaud was identified as a homeless individual who had a drinking problem. Police suspect that he may have gotten into a fight with someone else in the same circumstances, potentially for access to the abandoned mansion’s basement.

Lafonta says that he doesn’t plan to make the restored mansion his new residence. It’s getting renovated to become office space for an unidentified international company.

Although authorities suspect Renaud’s murder to become a cold case, they are still following up on leads to see if they can offer some closure to his story.