Police reopen Alps family murder investigation

Police reopen Alps family murder investigation
Police reopen Alps family murder investigation

Police are set to look into whether a suspected serial killer could be behind the murders of a British man and his family while on holiday in France.

Saad al-Hilli, his wife Iqbal al-Hilli and her mother Suhaila al-Allaf were shot dead on holiday in Chevaline, near Annecy, in September 2012, along with a passing French cyclist, Sylvain Mollier.

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The couple's two young daughters survived the shooting. One, then four, was discovered hiding under her mother's body inside the family car, eight hours after the shooting. The other survived serious head injuries after being shot and beaten, reports the BBC.

Despite a full investigation, their murders have never been solved.

Police are now questioning 34-year-old ex-soldier, Nordahl Lelandais, who is also the main suspect in two other cases in the area - the disappearance of a nine-year-old girl, Maëlys de Araujo, at a wedding in August where the suspect was a guest, and the killing of a hitchhiking soldier, Arthur Noyer, in April.

Mr Noyer's skull was found by a walker on 7 September in Montmelian, 16km from Chambéry.

According to the Telegraph, Chambéry Prosecutor Thierry Dran said: "We are going to look at all the disturbing disappearances which have taken place in this region."

He said the Al-hilli case would be reopened to investigate Lelandais' possible involvement, adding: "Given this new development, we will be verifying (any connections), and that will naturally be done, to rule out or include (the suspect in the investigation). It would be wrong not to."

Other cases that may be linked to Lelandais involve Adrien Mourial, a 24-year-old Belgian citizen who went missing near Lake Annecy in July, and Jean-Christophe Morin and Ahmed Hamad, who vanished in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Prosecutors found that Lelandais searched "decomposition of a human body" on his computer after the disappearance of the soldier, and that the young girl's DNA was found in his black Audi, which he washed the day after her disappearance.

Lelandais has denied all charges against him.