Victim in Alps attack had French property

Sept. 21, 2012 at 8:24 AM
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ANNECY, France, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- A man who was shot to death with three others at a French nature park was in the process of selling a house near Bordeaux, French newspaper Sud-Ouest reported.

Saad al-Hilli, 50, was shot Sept. 5 while in his car along with his wife, Ikbal, 47, and mother-in-law, Suhaila al-Allaf, 74 while the family was vacationing at a nature preserve in the Alps outside Annecy. The couple's two children, Zainab, 7, and Zeena, 4, survived the shooting, though the elder sister was badly beaten. The younger was unscathed after hiding under the bodies of her mother and grandmother.

Passing French cyclist Sylvain Mollier, 45, was also shot and killed.

It was believed the family's sole residence was a $1.6 million estate in Surrey, England, until Sud-Ouest reported al-Hilli owned an older home in the medieval village of Saint-Macaire, about 30 miles from Bordeaux.

The home largely remains in the same condition as when he bought it in the 1990s, though the property has become overgrown after years of disuse, Sud-Ouest reported.

Despite the finding, detectives said they are no closer to finding the suspected killer or killers in the shooting, The Daily Telegraph reported.

French investigators said Zainab told them only "one bad man" shot her family members. Police are looking into the possibility al-Hilli's connection to Iraq, where he was born, may be a factor. They also said they're not ruling out the possibility Mollier could have been the intended target, The Daily Telegraph reported.

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