A British mother has been killed by burglars in Greece who held a gun to her baby’s head after they tied up her husband.
Three men strangled Caroline Crouch, 20, after forcing her to reveal where $54,000-worth of cash and jewellery was kept at her home in Athens.
Her husband Charalambos ‘Babis’ Anagnostopoulos, 32, a helicopter pilot, survived after he was tied to a chair and blindfolded with duct tape at the home in the Glyka Nera suburb of the city.
The robbers forced their way into the two-storey house at 4.30am this morning after breaking a CCTV camera and hanging the family’s dog by its own leash.
According to news site Ta Nea, a fourth criminal kept watch outside the suburban home as the other three found the couple sleeping with their child in an attic bedroom.
The robbers reportedly held a gun to the 11-month-old girl’s head in a sickening bid to get the mum to reveal where the money was kept.
Ms Crouch was tied to the bed using a T-shirt and was strangled to death, reportedly to stop her screaming for her baby’s safety.
Some conflicting reports say her husband was found sleeping in another room by the killers.
According to The Times, who spoke to a senior police officer, the pilot tried to fight the gang off before he was tied to a chair.
Once the armed men fled, Mr Anagnostopoulos managed to free himself to find his baby daughter crying beside the lifeless body of her mother, reports say.
An investigator said: “The woman appears to have been strangled by the robbers in their bid to locate jewellery and cash the couple may have had in their home.
“We are waiting for the coroner’s report to establish if there was any other type of assault.”
Local site Proto Thema reports that the distraught husband told police about the moment he was attacked by the three men.
He said: “It was shortly after five. I saw three hooded men. One was tall. They shouted and threatened in broken Greek.
“They tied me to a chair and then went on my wife.”
The same report quotes the pilot as telling police he was sleeping downstairs during the break-in
“When I managed to break free, I rushed upstairs to the attic to find my wife on the floor facing down, and the baby next to her wailing,” he reportedly told police.
Mr Anagnostopoulos called the police around 6am.
The Greek government has issued a $465,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the men, reports The Dawn.
Police said it appears that the robbers were experienced and likely watched the couple for some time before the raid.
The gang reportedly broke into the home through a window in the basement before killing the family dog on the first floor of the property.
When they fled the home, they left the dead pet hanging from a fence outside the house.
Officers are trawling through CCTV to see how the thieves got away and whether they were in the area before the raid.
Police spokesman Theodoros Chronopoulos described the murder as a “heinous crime, committed with extreme ferocity”.
He said: “We’ve seen several other ugly murders throughout the years. But this was extremely brutal and violent.”
The murdered woman was born in Greece but had a British passport, police said. She was a student at the University of Piraeus.