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France

French police issue sketch of Alps murder suspect

Video by Sanam SHANTYAEI , FRANCE 2

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-05

French police have issued a composite sketch of a mysterious motorcycle rider who they have been searching for in connection to the high-profile killing of a UK family and a French cyclist in the Alps in September 2012.

French police issued on Monday a composite sketch of a man investigators are searching for in connection to the shocking September 2012 murder of a UK family and a French cyclist near the Alpine city of Chevaline.

The sketch is of a middle-aged man with a goatee and wearing a large motorcycle helmet.

Police called anyone who recognises the man in the sketch to come forward. The police highlighted the “black or dark” coloured helmet which has an unusual side opening.

The mysterious biker was seen by witnesses near the scene of the shooting in which Saad al Hilli, a 50-year-old British-Iraqi businessman, his wife and her mother were gunned down.

However, Hilli's two daughters survived the gruesome attack.

French amateur cyclist Sylvain Mollier, believed by police to be an innocent bystander, was also found dead at the crime scene.

Police said that the presence of the bearded rider on the day of the killings was established early in the investigation, but a sketch was not made public immediately because it was thought the unique helmet could lead them to the suspect before he was tipped off.

Searches of customer purchase records at motorcycle shops and on surveillance of second-hand e-shops did not produce any leads, police admitted Monday, hoping the sketch could produce new leads in the quadruple-homicide case.

Police said the man in the sketch was not necessarily their “number one suspect,” but his proximity to the crime scene at the time of the shootings meant he could at least provide valuable information.

Zaid al Hilli, the brother of one of the victims, has been questioned by police over an inheritance dispute with his sibling. He told British media last month he “did not trust the French” and suggested the French cyclist Mollier could have been the prime target of the fatal attack.
 

Police have asked anyone who thinks they recognise the suspect to call this toll-free number in France: +33(0)800-002-950

Date created : 2013-11-04

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