The brother of a British man, murdered with his family in the French Alps, has denied reports of a family feud. Police also revealed the four year old girl who survived the massacre saw nothing, because she'd hidden under her mother's skirts before the attack began. ITV's Emma Murphy reports.
A 7-year-old British girl whose parents and grandmother were murdered in a shooting spree during a family vacation in the French Alps last week spoke to investigators on Monday.
Zainab al-Hilli was shot and severely beaten during the attack and placed in a medically-induced coma.
Zainab, who awoke from the coma on Sunday, was visited by French police in what was characterized as an introduction and a chance for the girl to grow accustomed to investigators, and so that they may gradually earn her trust.
“They have been able to speak to her but this was just an initial meeting,” a source close to the investigation told ITV News. “They could not go into any detail and the child was very tired. It was not permitted for the discussion to go any further.”
Zeena, Zainab’s 4-year-old sister, also survived the shootings and returned to Britain on Sunday. She was found eight hours after authorities arrived on the crime scene, hiding beneath her deceased mother's skirt in the car.
It was unclear if the girls have been told that their British-Iraqi father Saad al-Hilli, mother Iqbal and grandmother were killed in the attack.
Hilli, a mechanical engineer who worked with Surrey Satellite Technology, a subsidiary of the aerospace and defense firm EADS, and the other victims were shot in what appeared to be execution-style killings.
Also killed was French cyclist Sylvain Mollier, a 45-year-old father of three who authorities suspect was in the wrong place at the wrong time when he came upon the murder.
At the al-Hilli’s $1.6 million home in Surrey, a suburb southwest of London, police searched for clues to solve the mysterious slayings and at one point called in a bomb squad disposal vehicle as a precaution.
A safe inside the al-Hilli residence was being forcibly opened with power tools on Monday, ITV News reported.
Investigators at scene have revealed that four of the shooting victims were each shot twice in the head with the same gun, a 7.65 self-loading automatic pistol with 10 bullets in it. However, since about 25 shells were recovered from the scene and the bodies of the victims it was suggested that whoever did the killing must have reloaded at least twice, ITV News reported.
Still, five days since a British cyclist came across the chilling murder scene, a motive and suspect continue to elude police.
Investigators have said they were looking at various theories, including robbery, a family feud, a possible link to Hilli's work in the aerospace industry or his Iraqi origins.
ITV News is the UK partner of NBC News.
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