ANNECY, France, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- A prosecutor said Friday a dispute between two brothers was being investigated as a reason three members of a British family were shot dead in the French Alps.
A cyclist who apparently witnessed the slayings also was killed. The slain couple's two young daughters survived after apparently being left for dead.
Eric Mailland, the prosecutor in Annecy, said suspicion that the deaths may focus on a "family drama" over money was based on "credible information coming from the British police," The Daily Telegraph reported
"We have had information about the brother from British police sources ... there apparently is a conflict about money between himself and his brother," Mailland said.
"That brother in the U.K. spontaneously went to the police authorities and said, 'I have no conflict, no feud with my brother, no disagreement.' What's going to be very important will be to listen to this brother."
The brother, Zaid al-Hilli went to a police station in Surrey Friday to say there was no feud between him and his brother Saad, the British newspaper said.
Saad al-Hilli, 50, his wife Iqbal, 47, and his 77-year-old mother-in-law were found dead in their car Wednesday near Chevaline in Haute-Savoie. Each had been shot twice in the head, leading French investigators to believe the gunman was a professional hit man.
A French cyclist, Sylvain Mollier, 45, was shot five times, police said. Police said they believed the slain cyclist was "in the wrong place at the wrong time."
One daughter of the al-Hillis, Zainab, 7, was found severely beaten in the road. A second daughter, Zeena, 4, was found in the back seat of the car hours later, hidden under the bodies of her mother and grandmother.
Police said she had not alerted anyone to her presence as they conducted their investigation because she was traumatized by fear, The Guardian reported.
Zeena was treated at a psychiatric hospital. Zainab remained in a medically induced coma in another hospital. Both were under police protection.
The killings were discovered by another cyclist.
Police said a witness saw a dark green 4-wheel-drive vehicle at the crime scene, and was almost certainly seen by the second cyclist as it fled.
There is only one road in and out of the area.
Ballistic tests were being conducted Friday to determine if the killings were done with more than one weapon.
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