Caroline Crouch murder: Greek police say ‘everything still open’ in hunt for killer

The young mother was strangled with a pair of trousers

Independent Staff
Tuesday 18 May 2021 08:57

Greek police investigating the killing of a British mother in front of her infant daughter say “everything is still open” as in the search for a suspect for the crime.

Caroline Crouch, 20, was tortured and strangled by burglars who stole jewellery and cash, according to her husband.

Charalambos ‘Babis’ Anagostopoulos, 33, says he was tied up by the robbers but later managed to call police by dialling using the tip of his nose.

The helicopter pilot has been called in by police to give evidence three times since the killing in eastern Athens last week.

On Sunday police said a Georgian national arrested for trying to flee the country with a fake passport could be linked to the murder of Ms Crouch who is the daughter of a British couple who live on the Aegean island of Alonissos.

However, on Monday police seemed to shy away from the potential lead.

“We are exploring all options because everything is still open,” police spokesman Theodoros Chronopoulos told The Independent. “[We] yet to establish any direct link … with the so-called “Georgian connection.”

Excerpts of Mr Anagnostopoulos’ testimony, leaked to local media, suggest the intruders were foreigners because they spoke broken Greek.

“The leader kept shouting ‘Where’s the money. Where’s the money’ he reportedly told police.

“I said ‘I will tell you, just, please, do not harm us. I told them to go to the cellar and look inside a Monopoly board game where there was about 10,000 euros.”

“After that,” he said, “they bound me with a piece of rope; hand and legs in embryonic position. And then they strapped my neck with duct tape. It was very tight. And then they covered my mouth and parts of my nose.”

A university student and avid kickboxer, Crouch attempted to resist the assault but robbers gagged her and then strangled her with a pair of trousers, a coroner’s report showed late last week.

Details of the man arrested over the weekend were not revealed. He was seized along the Bulgarian border, trying to leave the country on a false passport. He was taken to a local police precinct and was flown to Athens to be questioned by investigators handling the case.

Since the killing, police have launched a nationwide manhunt to track the culprits, boosting security checks across the country’s borders.

The government has also posted a 300,000 euros reward for information leading to their arrest – a move pundits, press and politicians have seen as a desperate attempt by the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis to lure back British tourists after coronavirus lockdowns.

Efforts to revive tourism, the most lucrative Greek industry, are largely pinned on the return of British travellers.