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French police re-examine Alps murder crime scene

  • British police officers at the home of a family shot dead in their car in the French Alps, in Claygate, in south-east England, on September 9, 2012. (AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS)

ANNECY, France: French police struggling to make sense of a quadruple murder at an Alpine beauty spot said Sunday they were re-examining the scene and exploring other possibilities including that of a lone deranged killer.

"Is this the work of a crazy person? Was the family the real target? Is it possible that it was the cyclist? Only work based on complete information can help us to see things clearly," police officer Benoit Vinneman told AFP.

All four victims, including three members of a British-Iraqi family, were killed by two gun shots to the head, fuelling earlier suspicions that the murders could have been a professional hit.

But Vinneman said police had a number of hypotheses and that "it would be an error to focus on that of an ordered execution".

Investigators were also trying to nail down the exact movements of the al-Hilli family before they were gunned down along with the French cyclist Sylvain Mollier near Annecy last Wednesday, said Vinneman.

Around 25 police on Saturday combed a large area for clues but failed to turn up anything of interest, said the police commander of the eastern Haute-Savoie department Bertrand Francois.

Further searches would be undertaken on Sunday, he said.

Saad al-Hilli, his wife Iqbal and an elderly relative died in the attack during a family camping holiday. The couple's two young daughters survived.

Around 25 casings were found at the scene of the killing but officers have said they will not disclose ballistics analysis for fear of compromising the investigation.

 
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