Alps deaths: Relatives travel to France to be with two surviving girls08/09/2012 - 12:25:20
Relatives have travelled to France to meet two British girls, who survived a shooting while on holiday in the French Alps.
Their parents, from Surrey in England, were killed when a gunman opened fire on their car on Wednesday. A female passenger and a nearby cyclist were also shot dead.
Police have begun their search of the couple's family home.
A team of four French officers has travelled to the UK to work with British detectives at the house of Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey.
Iraqi-born Mr al-Hilli, 50, was gunned down in his car alongside his dentist wife, named by neighbours as Iqbal, on Wednesday.
An older Swedish woman travelling in the car was also killed, along with Sylvain Mollier, 45, a French cyclist who apparently stumbled across the attack in Chevaline.
The couple’s four-year-old daughter Zeena lay undiscovered under her mother’s corpse for eight hours after the murders, while her seven-year-old sister Zainab remains in a medically induced coma after being shot and beaten.
Two relatives of the al-Hilli family have travelled to France, with a British social worker, and will visit the girls who are under police supervision, according to reports.
However it was unclear when they would be able to see the elder girl, Zainab, as she continues to be treated in hospital.
Officers from Surrey Police erected a tent at the front of the al-Hillis’ house today as they prepare to conduct a search of the property with the French police team, led by officer Marc de Tarle.
Floral tributes from friends and neighbours within the shocked community have continued to be taken by police and displayed outside the two-storey property.
Two female officers have taken boxes containing equipment and evidence bags into a tent erected outside the home as they prepare to search it for the first time.
Police wore white scenes of crime overalls to conduct the search, which is expected to be a joint operation with French officers who flew to the UK yesterday. However, no French officers are yet at the scene.
Police plan to look at aspects of Mr al-Hilli’s life to try to find a motive for the murders and also speak with his brother, named in reports as Zaid Hilli.
Investigators have disclosed that Mr al-Hilli’s brother has approached UK police to deny any feud with his sibling over money.
Prosecutor Eric Maillaud said investigators were told of a possible feud between Mr al-Hilli and his brother over money, but the sibling had gone to a police station to deny the row.
He said: “Up until now the police in Britain were guaranteeing the safety of the house, but now it’s a Franco-British inquiry that is starting and we can now enter the house of Mr al-Hilli.
���His life, his job – I heard that he was the owner of three companies – all of that is the sort of thing that we have to find out about in England.”
The four-year-old girl has spoken to police and confirmed that two of the victims were her parents, but said she did not know the Swedish woman very well.
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