French Alps murders: Is there an Iraq connection? (+video)
Two of the three people killed in a BMW in the French Alps may have been born in Iraq. French investigators explain how they missed a four-year-old girl who survived the shooting.
French investigators struggled Thursday to explain how a 4-year-old girl could go undetected for eight hours in a car with three bodies in the French Alps.
They also acknowledged that they still don't know why a family of vacationers with British and Swiss passports were slain in a BMW on a remote mountain road near the French village of Chevaline. A French cyclist, possibly riding by at the time, was also killed.
The attacker or attackers violently beat and shot the girl's sister, who is about 7 years old, French prosecutor Eric Maillaud told reporters in nearby Annecy. The girl was found near the car and hospitalized. She will be operated on but her life is out of danger, he said.
French authorities were not releasing the identities of the victims, but said the car was registered to a man with a British passport, who was born in Baghdad in 1962. A Swedish passport and Iraqi passport were also found at the scene, Maillaud said.
Four people were found dead on the remote road: one adult man in the driver's seat of the British-registered BMW; two women in the back seat, one older than the other; and a French male cyclist, Sylvian Mollier, who appeared to have nothing to do with the family.
The bodies were found Wednesday by a British former air force officer who was cycling by, the prosecutor said.
A number of rescuers — firefighters, medical workers, police — apparently eyed the crime scene after it was reported about 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Local officials then waited for special investigators to arrive, police said.