Alps Murder Remains Unsolved Five Years Later
Five years ago the bodies of Saad and Iqbal al-Hilli, Iqbal's mother Suhaila al-Allaf, and cyclist Sylvain Mollier were found on a quiet road near Annecy.
As France24 explains, those murders remain unsolved.
Their two daughters survived the attack. The eldest, Zainab, was shot and had been beaten. The youngest, Zeena, hid under her dead mother's clothing and was not harmed. Both daughters have been given new identities and family members report that they are doing well.
There is no evidence that Mollier was connected to the family. Authorities believe he simply came upon the scene at the wrong moment.
Zaid al-Hilli, brother of the victim, was briefly detained as suspect at the start of the investigation. The initial theory suggested the family was murdered because of an inheritance dispute.
Investigators in France and the UK, where the al-Hilli family lived, were able to find evidence that Zaid and Saad were disputing property and other assets from their father's estate.
However, police found no evidence to link Zaid to his brother's murder. al-Hilli has frequently expressed his frustration with the lack of progress in the case and has also accused French police of a cover-up. Iqbar's uncle, Ahmed al-Safar, did not go that far, but suggested that the police were too focused on the family early in the investigation.
For his part, Zaid believes that if the case is ever solved, it will be by the British authorities.
"The only way forward is for a British judge to look into the investigation and give us some conclusions," he said.
"I don't think the French authorities were honest and we don't trust them and we don't have faith in them."
A second theory suggested that industrial espionage could have been a motive, as Saad al-Hilli worked for a firm that specialized in satellites. However, no evidence was found to support that theory either.
There is currently no working theory to explain the murders. Although 100 police officers from France and Britain have aided the investigation, authorities have little to show for it.
Veronique Dizot, the lead prosecutor, has suggested that the family may have been targeted randomly. Her office is still trying to identify the owners of the guns used in the attack.
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