- British family, from Surrey, shot dead on holiday in Chevaline, France in 2012
- Passing French cyclist Sylvain Mollier also murdered by two daughters survived
- French authorities now questioning ex-solider linked to two separate cases
Police are investigating whether an ex-soldier is behind the deaths of a British family on holiday in the French Alps in 2012.
Saad al-Hilli. his wife Iqbal and her mother Suhaila al-Allaf, from Surrey, were shot dead in a forest car park near Annecy in September 2012 along with a passing French cyclist Sylvain Mollier.
Miraculously their two daughters survived. The seven-year-old was shot but recovered from a coma while the four-year-old was unharmed but found cowering close to the body of her dead mother.
Massacre: In 2012 Mrs Al-Hilli was found shot dead alongside her 50-year-old businessman husband Saad and her 74-year-old mother Suhaila Al-Allaf in the family’s BMW estate in a remote layby close in the French Alps
Despite an international manhunt, the authority’s investigation yielded no results and the killer was never found.
Now five years on, French police have revealed they are questioning a 34-year-old former solider who is the main suspect in two separate cases in the area.
The suspect, Nordahl Lelandais, has been in custody since September as part of the investigation over the disappearance of nine-year-old Maëlys de Araujo in the Chambéry region of south-eastern France.
The child went missing at a wedding where the suspect was a guest in August.
The second case is the killing of a hitchhiking soldier in April.
Annecy prosecutor Véronique Dénizot confirmed to the Telegraph that the case will be re-opened to probe Lelandais’ possible involvement.
‘Verifications will be made in due course’ to establish if Lelandais has any links with the al-Hilli murders.
Differing theories: It had been presumed that Saad Al-Hilli had been the target of the massacre until it emerged last July that his wife Iqbal had been married before. The family are pictured the day before the shooting