A four years girl who survived the mystery shooting Wednesday in the French Alps,spent hours hiding beneath the legs of her slain mother in the back after the vehicle was discovered.
Investigators said in a mysterious shooting rampage that left four adults dead and a 7-year-old girl hospitalized with bullet wounds and skull fractures. The reason for the killing, in a wooded area near the village of Chevaline, remains unclear.
The authorities were alerted by the a British cyclist who called for help near the French village of Chevaline when he witnessed a seven year-old girl collapse alongside an idling BMW station wagon with British license plates.
French authorities said the victims were discovered around 3:50 pm Wednesday.
"Firefighters, technicians, doctors looked inside the car through the windows but they didn't see the little girl. Eight hours after the vehicle's discovery, a campground neighbor who said he had chatted with the English-speaking family signaled that there had been a second child with the group.
Local police defended the decisions that led to the four-year-old being left in the car for so long.
"We had instructions not to enter the car and not to move the bodies," Lieutenant-Colonel Benoit Vinnemann of the local gendarmerie told AFP.
AThe elder girl has been placed in an induced coma ahead of further surgery in a hospital in Grenoble.She is still in critical condition.
Media reports have named the car's owner as Baghdad-born Saad al-Hilli, 50, of Claygate, Surrey,although Eric Maillaud, the prosecutor in charge of the investigation,saying it was not yet certain that the car's owner was the same man driving the car.The rest of the family have been identified by neighbours as wife Iqbal and daughters Zainab, seven, and Zeena, four.
The dead elderly woman was identified as mother of slained Iqbal .A Swedish passport was found in the possession of the older murdered woman and authorities say an Iraqi passport was also identified.
The fourth man who died is believed to be a local who happened to be cycling past the scene of the crime.Who was reported missing by his wife.Most likely the cyclist was just a passerby who inadvertently entered into a dangerous scenario.
All the victims were riddled with bullets following what looked like a “deliberate assassination”, said an Annecy police source.As all the victims targetted in the head and shot through the windows.Not a single bullet found in the vehicle body.
Autopsies were to be conducted on Friday and police in France were expecting DNA from Britain as they desperately sought clues.
Police vehicles have barricaded the road about 3 kilometers (1.5 miles) from where the bodies were found and say searches continued Thursday in the surrounding forest.