Girl found under bodies in French shooting

2012-09-06 07:56
A Gendarme's car heads to a killing site near Chevaline, French Alps. (Alexis Moro, AP)

A Gendarme's car heads to a killing site near Chevaline, French Alps. (Alexis Moro, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Chevaline - Three of the four victims of a shooting in the French Alps appear to have been a British family on holiday, according to an official who said on Thursday a 4-year-old girl was found alive at the scene.

The identity of a dead man, described as the father of the family, has been "almost certainly" established, while two women victims are yet to be definitively identified, said Eric Maillaud, a prosecutor in the Haute-Savoie area of eastern France.

Maillaud also said that a 4-year-old girl was found alive in the British-registered car, hidden under the bodies, some eight hours after the killings which took place on Wednesday. The fourth victim was a cyclist.

"She was hidden under the bodies for some eight hours and didn't move for the whole time," and was not discovered until investigators reached the scene, Maillaud said in a briefing to reporters.

Police sealed off the area around the car to allow forensic experts to go over the scene before the corpses were removed.

It was those experts who discovered the 4-year-old girl who had previously remained unseen in the car.

Bodies discovered by cyclist

Another girl who was found shot at the scene earlier was in stable condition on Thursday, after being rushed to hospital in critical condition, though doctors said she was likely to stay in hospital for several days.

The shooting took place in a tree-lined car park on the edge of the picturesque village of Chevaline which is popular with tourists and second homeowners from all over Europe, including many Britons.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office in London said: "We are aware of the reports of the shooting and we are looking into these urgently." The Paris embassy was also liaising with the police in Britain.

The bodies were discovered by another cyclist at around 15:50 local time. He was questioned by police on Wednesday.

"We are going to try to interview people in the neighbourhood," Maillaud told reporters, stressing that they had not yet formed any hypothesis as to what had happened.

Experts from the national gendarmerie's IRCGN unit were expected to collect DNA samples, shells left at the scene for ballistics analysis and check for traces of other vehicles that may have been at the scene.

Speculation

The bodies were taken to the town of Grenoble for autopsies.

Around 60 gendarmes were involved in a search for potential clues which continued during the night.

The position of the bodies in the car and the large number of cartridges found at the scene gave rise to speculation the killing could have been the result of an armed robbery that the cyclist may have inadvertently interrupted.

But there was no immediate comment on that theory from the prosecutor or police at the scene.

Read more on:    france

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.