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Dublin: 13 °C Friday 5 June, 2020

Four-year-old girl found alive after Alps shooting

Paralysed with fear, the young British girl spent about eight hours under the legs of her dead mother.

A gendarme blocks access to site where people were shot to death near Chevaline.
A gendarme blocks access to site where people were shot to death near Chevaline.
Image: Laurent Cipriani/AP/Press Association Images

EIGHT HOURS AFTER the bodies of three people were discovered in a car at a popular tourist spot in the French Alps, police found an unharmed four-year-old girl hiding under the legs of one of the victims.

According to BBC News, the two women and one man found shot dead in a UK-registered car yesterday are presumed to be a British family. It is understood that the young girl is the daughter of the husband and wife who were killed, while the other passenger was her grandmother.

An older girl, believed to be about six- or seven-years-old, was found outside the car with critical injuries. She was airlifted to hospital for treatment and is currently said to be in a stable condition.

Lying nearby, the body of cyclist was also found. It has been said that he was “in the wrong place, at the wrong time”.

The four-year-old found last night received no injuries in the shooting, according to the prosecutor in charge of the case Eric Maillaud.

“She stayed, curled up under the bodies for eight hours and didn’t move in all that time,” he said.

When police arrived on scene, they did not spot the girl and the car was left untouched for forensic examinations. She was eventually discovered at midnight.

“It was only once we had access to the scene of the crime that we found her,” Maillaud said. “The little girl spoke English. She heard noises, shouts but she can’t tell us any more than that. She is only four years old.

“She is being looked after and we are doing everything we possibly can to care for her.”

The Guardian reports that he Maillaud also described her being unable to “tell the difference between the good people and the bad people”.

There are still no clues or no apparent motives for the mysterious incident. No arrests have been made. The popular tourist spot is located in a rural area and the village only has about 200 inhabitants. According to local press, the mayor and other residents are shocked by the crime.

Maillaud admited to reporters that police “don’t know who could have done this. We have no idea.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Benoit Vinnemann, head of the Chambery gendarmerie, said the family had been staying at the nearby Saint Jorioz camp site, where fellow campers reported their disappearance on Wednesday evening.

The bodies of the four victims have been taken away for post-mortems but have yet to be formally identified.

The British Embassy in France said it was aware of the incident at Lake Annecy and is monitoring the situation closely. It added that there was nothing to suggest a wider threat to UK nationals.

-Additional reporting by AFP

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