Detectives probing whether robbers who murdered British mother in Greece believed 100,000 Euros was hidden in family’s home as her grieving husband reveals more details of savage attack
- Police are probing whether robbers knew there was cash in the couple’s house
- Husband Babis has given a terrifying account of the burglary early on Tuesday
- Police arrested Georgian man on Bulgarian border over British woman’s murder
- Arrest in Evros came after a routine police stop found he had fake documents
- Babis says he saw the attacker during robbery when his balaclava slipped
- Described the assassin as being tall, dark-skinned, overweight and under 30
- Linked to 12 similar break-ins around the Greek capital in the last six months
Detectives are investigating whether robbers who murdered a British mother in front of her baby in Athens were tipped off about a 100,000 Euros (£86,000) land purchase and believed the cash was in the house.
Meanwhile a detailed account of the terrifying burglary in which 20-year-old Caroline Crouch was strangled to death as her husband lay helpless next door has emerged.
Grief-stricken widower Charalambos Anagnostopolous, known as Babis, has told police how the robbers surprised him as he lay sleeping next to wife Caroline.
The helicopter pilot described how he immediately directed the criminals to a 10,000 Euros (£8,630) stash of money when the they threatened to kill his baby daughter Lydia.
But, it is thought that the robbers believed the father was hiding a larger sum of money intended to pay for a plot of land nearby where the young couple planned to build a home.
Detectives are investigating whether robbers who murdered British mother Caroline Crouch (left) in front of her baby (pictured) in Athens were tipped off about a €100,000 (£86,000) land purchase and believed the cash was in the house
A detailed account of the terrifying burglary in which 20-year-old Caroline Crouch (left) was strangled to death as her husband, Charalambos Anagnostopolous, known as Babis, (right) lay helpless next door has emerged
Babis has described how he immediately directed the criminals who broke into his home to a €10,000 (£8,630) stash of money when the they threatened to kill his baby daughter Lydia
The 33-year-old, who is known as Babis, told police: ‘The robber shouted at me “where is the money”. I immediately told him “I will tell you, please do not hurt us.”
‘I explained that in the basement among my daughter’s toys there was a monopoly set that contained almost 10,000 Euros.
‘Two members of the gang tied me up with string. They bound my wrists and feet and pulled me into a foetal position.
‘They wrapped insulating tape around my neck very tightly. And around my mouth, leaving my nose exposed. They also covered my eyes. But there was a small crack through which I could see.
‘I could hear them shouting and threatening Caroline, saying; “We will kill your child if you do not tell us where the money is.” I could not see what was happening because I was facing the other way.’
Babis told how he fell unconscious for up 30 minutes because the tape around his neck was so tight.
However through the hole in his blind-fold he managed to identify the robbers as two six-foot-tall slim, athletic men, and a short, fat man, who appeared be the leader.
Caroline, who is thought to have been born Greece but has a British passport, began dating Babis in 2017, married him in 2019, and gave birth in June last year
Babis shared a tribute to his wife Caroline Crouch on Sunday. Under the photo taken on their wedding day he writes: ‘Together forever. Have a nice trip my love’
The helicopter pilot Charalambos Anagnostopolous (pictured), known as Babis, saw the face of his 20-year-old wife’s killer as he leapt onto the bed where they were sleeping
A source close to the investigation told the Sun attackers could have ‘taken fright’ at the violent struggle Caroline put up before she was strangled to death
Caroline was killed at her home in Athens, Greece, that she shared with husband Babis Anagnostopoulos and their infant daughter Lydia
The taller men wore black hoods. One carried a silver-coloured revolver, the other a black pistol. The third man wore a balaclava and was unarmed.
The third man, the leader, shouted; ‘where is the money’, Babis told police. The criminal gang spent an hour searching for more cash, as they believed Babis and wife Caroline were holding out on them.
The couple were planning to build their dream home on a plot of land in Drafi, a picturesque suburb of Athens, some 20 minutes away. Caroline also wanted to create a cat sanctuary there.
Detectives are investigating whether the criminals found out that Babis had withdrawn 100,000 Euros (£86,000) from the bank to make this purchase and believed the money was in the house.
But the gang did not know that the sale had gone ahead and the money had already changed hands before the break-in.
Caroline was killed in front of her infant daughter after thieves broke into the home she shared with her husband
Investigators say Tuesday’s raid began around 4.30am when the gang approached the couple’s house (pictured) and broke a security camera outside
Pictured: Marks seen on the door and windows in the rear yard of the house where the burglars are believed to have entered into the house
Police say hooded men broke into the home in the Glyka Nera suburb while one stood guard, strangled the family dog, tied up the husband, then tortured and suffocated his wife
Baby Lydia is carried by her grandmother away from the scene of a horrific burglary-turned-murder in Athens on Tuesday
Investigators believe this theory is consistent with the robbers’ continued demands for money even after Babis had directed them to his 10,000 Euros (£8,630) stash.
Detectives investigating the murder on Sunday confirmed they have arrested an unnamed Georgian man on the Bulgarian border.
He was arrested in Evros, in the far north-east of Greece, which is the main route into Bulgaria, local newspaper Vima reported.
The suspect, who was travelling by car, was held following a routine police stop to cross check his identification when they discovered he was travelling on a fake passport.
A Georgian man was arrested in Evros, in the far north-east of Greece, which is the main route to Bulgaria, in connection with the attack on Sunday
Detectives have cordoned off the couple’s home in the Glyka Nera neighbourhood of Greece as investigations continue
A police source said DNA analysis suggested he was one of five people who tied up an old couple and their cleaning lady in a burglary in Pikermi on March 7.
The home is just 20 minutes drive from the Glyka Nera neighbourhood where Caroline was murdered.
It was also revealed that Babis has helped police to identify two of the weapons carried by the raiders.
He said the burglars were armed with a silver Colt and a black pistol.
Police said the weapons were unusual to find in Greece and believe tracing them could prove vital in identifying Caroline’s killers.
A £250,000 reward for information has been offered, and investigators are thought to be working on the theory that the gang was well organised, likely surveilled the couple before the raid, and somehow knew they were keeping a large amount of cash at home.
Caroline was laid to rest yesterday on the island of Alonnisos, where she spent most of her childhood.
Almost every inhabitant of Alonnisos flocked to the island’s Agia Paraskevi church to pay their respects to Caroline Crouch on Friday
Widower Babis pictured with his 11-month-old daughter at the burial of Caroline on the island of Alonnisos
A black hearse carrying her coffin – which was covered with carefully placed white roses – could be seen this morning entering the ferry at the port of Volos, central Greece, on its way to the island of Alonissos
Susie Dela Cuesta pictured above at her daughter’s graveside on the island of Alonnisos in Greece yesterday
Friends and relatives of Caroline gathered today and carried flowers as they paid tribute to the murdered mother
Friends and family stand next to the hearse carrying Caroline’s coffin as they hold flowers outside the Agia Paraskevi church
Beautiful wreaths are left outside the church for Caroline’s funeral while flowers were left on wooden tables by mourners
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