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Suspect detained in unsolved 2012 shooting in French Alps

Suspect detained in unsolved 2012 shooting in French Alps
A suspect was detained Wednesday in connection with a 2012 shooting that left three British family members and a French cyclist dead. File Photo by Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPA-EFE

Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Authorities on Wednesday detained a suspect in connection with the unsolved case of three British family members and a French cyclist killed in a shooting in the French Alps in 2012.

Line Bonnet, the public prosecutor in Annecy, France, said in a statement that detectives in Chambery had arrested an unidentified person at 8:05 a.m. and that further details would be released "after the detention."

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Saad al-Hilli, an Iraqi-born engineer, along with his wife, Iqbal, and his 74-year old mother-in-law were found fatally shot inside their car at Chevaline, near Lake Annecy and a French cyclist, Sylvain Millier, was also found dead nearby.

The couple's 7-year-old daughter, Zainab, was shot in the shoulder and badly beaten during the shooting, leaving her in a coma. Her sister, 4-year-old Zeena, hid under her mother's legs and was unharmed.

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Police sources said an unidentified man was taken into custody and his home was searched as police worked to verify his movements and whereabouts on the the day of the shooting, French media reported.

Several other suspects have been detained in the case, including al-Hilli's brother, Zaid, who was arrested on suspicion of murder in 2013 but later told there was not sufficient evidence to charge him with a crime.

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A 35-year-old man identified only as "S" and Patrice Menegaldo, a former soldier in the French Legion were also questioned in the case. S was released without charge after it was established he wasn't in France on the day of the shooting and detectives suggested Menegaldo, who killed himself in 2015, fit the profile of a professsional hitman believed to have carried out the killings.

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