Faid’s latest flight from prison came after two or three heavily armed men hijacked a helicopter and forced the pilot to fly to Faid’s prison in Seine-et-Marne, near Paris, the French Interior Ministry said.
After picking Faid up Sunday, the armed men forced the pilot to fly them to the Val d’Oise region, northwest of Paris, before releasing the pilot unharmed and fleeing in an unidentified vehicle, the Interior Ministry said.
It was not immediately clear how Faid was able to get access to the hijacked helicopter.
But news of his second escape “devastated” the parents of the slain officer, the family’s attorney told CNN affiliate BFM-TV.
Attorney Laurent-Frank Lienard said Fouquet’s parents are certain Faid “was involved at the highest level in the robbery attempt that led to Aurélie Fouquet’s death.”
Faid was convicted of masterminding the failed 2010 robbery. Two other men were sentenced for her murder.
But Faid “always denied his involvement in the case,” his former lawyer Christian Saint-Palais said.
“He considered himself the victim of an injustice. He felt he was wrongly incarcerated,” Saint-Palais told the newspaper Le Parisien. “And for him, that could justify recovering his freedom if the opportunity arose.”
Police have now mobilized and are guarding borders to try to catch the fugitive, the interior ministry said.
A veteran prison escapee
Back in April 2013, Faid held five people — including four guards — at gunpoint at a detention center in the northern city of Lille, officials said.
He then detonated explosives to destroy five doors, penitentiary union spokesman Etienne Dobrometz told CNN affiliate BFMTV. It was not clear how he got the gun and explosives.
Faid grew a beard and wore a wig while on the run. After an international manhunt that spanned dozens of countries, he was captured at a hotel east of Paris and locked up in a different prison.
While Faid’s escape Sunday via helicopter may seem shocking, it’s actually the latest in a long history of French inmates escaping into the sky.
Michel Vaujour, was serving a lengthy sentence for attempted murder and armed robbery. In May 1986, the Chicago Tribune reported, Michel Vaujour “forced his way onto the prison’s roof by wielding nectarines that were painted to look like grenades.”
His wife, Nadine Vaujour, then picked him up in a helicopter and whisked him away to a football field, where they landed and drove away.