Alps murders: Suspect could give new lead to al-Hilli shooting

Alps murders: Suspect could give new lead to al-Hilli shooting


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Media captionAlps Murder: ‘No progress’ five years on

French police are looking into a possible new lead in the unsolved killing of a British man, his wife and mother-in-law in the Alps in 2012.

Saad al-Hilli, Iqbal al-Hilli and her mother Suhaila al-Allaf were shot dead on holiday.

Police are questioning a 34-year-old ex-soldier who is the main suspect in two other cases in the area.

One relates to the disappearance of a nine-year-old girl in August, the other to the killing of a soldier.

The former soldier, Nordahl Lelandais, has been in custody since September as part of the investigation over the disappearance of Maëlys de Araujo in the Chambéry region of south-eastern France.

He has been charged with kidnapping the girl, which he has denied.

“We are going to look at all the disturbing disappearances which have taken place in this region,” Chambéry Prosecutor Thierry Dran told reporters, without specifying which cases would be reviewed.

But they reportedly include the al-Hillis, as well as cases involving 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.

What happened in the Alps?

The bodies of Saad al-Hilli, his wife Iqbal and her mother, Suhaila al-Allaf, were found on a remote road in Chevaline, near Lake Annecy in south-eastern France, on 5 September 2012.

A passing French cyclist was also killed.

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.

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Central News and Pictures

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Saad al-Hilli was killed while on holiday in France

The other, then seven, was found with serious head injuries after being shot and beaten.

In September, the French lead prosecutor said work was being carried out to identify the previous owners of the guns used in the attack, but that there were no potential suspects in the case.

What else are French police investigating?

Maëlys de Araujo was last seen on 27 August in a children’s area at a hall in Pont-de-Beauvoisin, 40km (25 miles) west of Chambéry, during a wedding in which Mr Lelandais was a guest.

Her parents say they did not know him, nor had they had any argument with him.

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Maëlys attended the wedding with her parents

DNA of the girl was found on the dashboard of Mr Lelandais’ car. According to his lawyer, he has admitted that Maëlys was in his vehicle on the night she disappeared but said that did not prove his guilt.

The suspect lived with his parents 30km from Chambéry.

Mr Lelandais is also under investigation for the killing of 23-year-old soldierArthur Noyer whose skull was found by a walker on 7 September in Montmelian, 16km from Chambéry.

Mr Dran said data trawls revealed that, following Mr Noyer’s disappearance on 11 April, the suspect did online searches with the key words “human body decomposition”.

The suspect admitted being in the area where Mr Noyer disappeared but denied any involvement in the killing.


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