The four people shot dead at an Alpine beauty spot were each killed with two bullets to the head, French investigators said. The revelation supports the theory that they were victims of an organized killing, probably by more than one person.
Iraqi-born aeronautics engineer Saad al-Hilli, 50, his wife, Iqbal, 47, their two daughters and a 77-year-old woman thought to be Iqbal’s mother, were holidaying in the Alps near Lake Annecy in the Haute Savoie when they were attacked. The adults’ bodies were found inside a British-registered maroon BMW at the end of a narrow track near the village of Chevaline.
The couple’s elder daughter, Zainab, aged seven, who had been shot in the shoulder and suffered serious injuries after being bludgeoned over the head, was found nearby.
A second daughter, Zeena, aged four, was found cowering terrified in the footwell in the rear of the car under the skirt of her dead mother, where she had remained undetected for eight hours after French gendarmes sealed off the scene.
A passing French cyclist, Sylvain Mollier, 45, was also gunned down.
On Saturday, as British and French detectives entered the family’s home in Surrey, the French prosecutor leading the investigation said he had 40 officers working on the case. “The autopsies on the four people found dead found there were several bullets, but each one had received two bullets in the head,” Eric Maillaud said.