A murdered British woman who was violently robbed in Greece was found alongside her baby daughter who was crying and tapping her body to try and wake her.
Police called to the scene of the crime in Athens discovered the 11-month-old baby girl “patting her mother with her hands and trying to wake her up,” Yahoo! News reports.
The Young Mom Was Just 20 At the Time of Her Murder Which Was Witnessed by Her Baby.
The victim was later identified as Caroline Crouch, 20, who was born in Greece but held British citizenship.
According to Ta Nea, a Greek newspaper, Crouch was murdered in front of her baby by three robbers who broke into her home in Glyka Nera, an affluent suburb on the outskirts of Athens, in the early hours on Tuesday.
Investigators believe that Crouch was silenced by a piece of clothing that the robbers stuffed into her mouth to prevent her from crying for help. They also said that her nose was pinched to stop her breathing.
A post-mortem found that the victim, a student, died from asphyxiation. Greek police described the crime as unusually brutal, Yahoo! reports. The robbers killed the family’s pet dog but the baby was left unharmed.
Authorities believe that the murder was motivated by Crouch’s spirited fight for survival as she was a trained kickboxer. The combination of her fighting skills and resolve likely means that she saw the robbers’ faces.
Her husband, 32-year-old pilot Charalambos Anagnostopoulos, was tied up by the robbers, who duct-taped his mouth and eyes and shut.
According to investigators, Anagnostopoulos pleaded with the thieves to leave his wife and child unharmed, even telling them where to find valuable jewelry and €15,000 in cash which was hidden inside a Monopoly board game box.
The father said that the money was set aside for a future building project that the couple planned for land that was recently purchased.
“It is possible that the mother saw the faces of the attackers” and that is why she was murdered, George Kalliakmanis, the head of the local police union, explained.
After the robbers fled the scene, Anagnostopoulos reportedly alerted police to the crime by dialing his mobile phone with his nose.
“He was tied up and on the floor so he used his nose to dial the number for the police,” a police spokesman told The Telegraph, a UK paper. “The tape was across his mouth but he managed to make himself understood.”
“It’s an ongoing investigation. We don’t have any suspects at this point,” the spokesman told the outlet that DNA evidence, fingerprints, and CCTV footage were being collected and reviewed by investigators.
Vassilis Pliotas, a prosecutor from the Supreme Court, said that Greek society was “stunned by the unprecedented brutality, the cold-blooded murder committed, with no moral inhibition, in Glyka Nera.”
Thus, authorities are looking into gangs operating in the region, recently released people from jails, and known robbers who likely operate in the area.
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Crouch’s funeral will be held on Friday on the Aegean island of Alonissos, where her parents reside.
The Greek government has offered a reward of €300,000 for anyone who comes forward with information that leads to the arrest of the criminals.
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