ATHENS -- Mourning the loss of his 20-year-old wife suffocated to death while tied up during a brutal home invasion in Athens, helicopter pilot Charalambos Anagnostopoulos, 32, posted of them walking on a beach on their wedding day.
“Together forever,” he wrote in Greek. “Have a nice trip, my love,” he said in memory of his British-Filipino wife, Caroline Crouch, daughter of a British serviceman, as Greek police stepped up their hunt for three men who broke in to their house.
The killing shocked Greece even during the lingering COVID-19 pandemic that has killed more than 11,300 people and counting, and for the cold-blooded nature in which she was gagged and had a hand put over his mouth and nose to suffocate her while her husband was tied in another room.
Adding to the shock, said Metro UK in a report, was that he got himself free after an hour in the early morning invasion and was said to have found her dead with their 11-month-old daughter trying to “wake” her up.
The invaders also killed the family dog and hung it on a gate outside their home, the report added, with Anagnostopoulos later telling reporters the couple had begged them not to hurt them.
Crouch, who also holds a British passport, spent most of her life on the Greek island of Alonnisos, where her funeral was held, Metro UK said.
Anagnostopoulos was photographed carrying their daughter — who was reportedly threatened but unharmed during the raid — as he told those there that he felt “lucky” for the time he spent with Crouch.
But he said he was “sad … that our daughter will grow up without remembering her beautiful mother, who was the joy of my life,” the UK paper said.
“But through her daughter, Caroline will always be with me and with all of us … You should always look after your loved ones and enjoy your time together,” he reportedly said at the service while wiping away tears.
He told police he was able to see at least one of the killers who stole cash and jewelry worth around $18,250, and police were questioning a 30-year-old Georgian man caught using a fake passport to get into Bulgaria to flee.
Police are looking at an Albanian-led gypsy gang thought to be behind at least a dozen robberies around the Greek capital, which is home to a number of organized crime outfits.