Alps family murder: French police launch witness appeal as clues run out
Published 10/10/2012 | 17:14
FRENCH police have launched an appeal for witnesses in the murder of the British family in the Alps - more than a month after they were killed.
Detectives in France and Britain still have no clue who executed three members of the al-Hilli family, and a French cyclist, near the town of Annecy on September 5.
Now five weeks later, police in the Alpine resort have issued a freephone number and a nationwide call for anyone with information to come forward.
The appeal comes after Annecy chief prosecutor Eric Millaud admitted last week that there was "no immediate hope" of solving the crime.
Chief prosecutor Eric Millaud said finding whoever executed the family would take a "very, very long time".
Iraqi-born Saad Al-Hilli, 50, his wife Ikbal, 47, and her mother Suhaila Al-Allaf, 74, were all shot twice through the head in their BMW parked at a remote beauty spot outside the village of Chevaline.
French cyclist Sylvain Mollier, a 45-year-old father of three, also died in the massacre.
The Al-Hilli's daughter Zeinab, seven, is still being treated for a bullet wound and severe head injuries, while her sister Zeena, four, survived after hiding from the killer beneath her mother's body.
It emerged last week that Swiss bank accounts linked to the family had been uncovered by detectives in France.
Investigators also found that Mr Al-Hilli, from Claygate, Surrey, had visited Geneva - just 40 miles from the spot where he died - in the days before the attack.
Detectives have also been hunting for a British-registered car seen speeding away from the scene by another British cyclist who discovered the massacre.
Police said the witness saw a dark-coloured Mitsubishi Pajero 4x4 being driven by a 'nervous' looking man.
They believe the killers may have fled across the Swiss or Italian borders - both only an hour's drive away from the scene.
In a statement released by gendarmes in Annecy today, a police spokesman said: "After a month of investigations and interviews of more than 650 people, we are putting in place a freephone number for any witnesses who can provide further information.
"Anyone who may have been in contact with this British family, or who were in the area around Chevaline on the day of the crime are asked to make themselves known to gendarmes."