Updated: 31/01/18 : 06:25:23
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World :: Husband admits killing French jogger wife

The husband of a jogger found dead in eastern France has admitted killing her "by mistake", his lawyers say.

The partially burnt body of Alexia Daval, 29, was discovered in woodland near the town of Gray last October.

Her husband Jonathann Daval, a 34-year-old IT worker, was detained on Monday and denied being involved in her death.

However on Tuesday his lawyers said he had confessed but told police that he had not meant to kill his wife. He now faces murder charges.

"He said it was an accident and he is sorry" for what happened, lawyers Ornella Spatafora and Randall Schwerdorffer told AFP news agency.

Mr Daval could face life imprisonment if found guilty of murder.

Investigators had earlier said they thought the death may have been the result of a "marital argument gone wrong".

The couple, who were having difficulties conceiving a child, were "experiencing strong tensions", sources had told French media.

Mrs Daval, a 29-year-old banker, went out for a morning run on 28 October, according to her husband. He said that after not hearing from her for several hours he had alerted police.

Her body was found two days later, partly burnt and covered by branches in a forest far from her usual jogging route. A source close to the investigation told AFP news agency there were no preliminary indications she had been raped but a post mortem examination had found she had been strangled.

The killing inspired a march of 10,000 people in the quiet town of Gray in Haute-Sa˘ne.

Women also honoured the jogger with symbolic runs in cities across France.

For months, investigators did not have any suspects in the case. Her husband was the last witness to see his wife.

In the initial hearing, he spoke as a simple witness, admitting he had argued with his wife the day before her disappearance.

That altercation explained, according to him, scratches and bite marks visible on his hands.