British family were shot dead in French Alps by random killer

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A British family were shot dead in the French Alps by a random killer, police have said.

French detectives revealed the Al-Hilli family were the victims of an unplanned attack after an “unfortunate encounter” with someone local to the area

But police said that the case was “not advancing” and that officers had made no progress in identifying the killer after five years.

The bodies of Saad al-Hilli, his wife Iqbal and her mother, Suhaila al-Allaf, were discovered on a remote forest road on September 5, 2012.

They died alongside local cyclist Sylvain Mollier, 45, in the woods at Chevaline near Lake Annecy after the brutal attack.

Saad al-Hilli’s brother Zaid said he has lost faith in the French authorities (Picture: Getty)

Daughter of the couple Zeena al-Hilli, then four years old, was discovered hiding under her mother’s body inside the family BMW, while older daughter Zainab, aged seven at the time, also survived after being shot and beaten.

The family, from Claygate, Surrey, had been holidaying in the French Alps when they were murdered.

On the fifth anniversary of the killings, the French lead prosecutor said detectives were no closer to finding the killer after extensive investigations.

Véronique Denizot, the state prosecutor in Annecy, said that the only plausible explanation for the murders was that the al-Hillis and Mr Mollier had fallen victim to an “unfortunate encounter” with a local person.

Ms Denizot told the Times: “Why not consider the theory that they met someone who for some reason did not want their activities known, and whose personality led them to eliminate all the witnesses?”

She added: “We are not advancing any more.

“After five years, we are a bit discouraged and worried. Time is working against us. But we have to continue to believe that we can end up by resolving this case.

“We have sometimes seen cases resolved ten or 15 years later.”

Saad’s brother Zaid al-Hilli, was arrested as part of the investigation in 2013 and questioned about an alleged family feud concerning business interests in Iraq, but was later released without charge.

He told the BBC he had lost faith in the French authorities.

He said: “There hasn’t been any progress in the case. The initial investigation has been a total failure.

“They made claims against the family which they couldn’t prove.”

He said the last time he had been in contact with French authorities was “very briefly” years ago.

Detectives do know the killer used a Luger PO6 pistol made for the Swiss army and fired the gun 21 times, striking his victims 17 times.

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