ATHENS – The husband of a woman suffocated to death by a gang of three masked burglars during a violent home invasion said he saw the face of one of them and was able to describe it to police.
Charalambos Anagnostopoulos, 32, a helicopter pilot had been tied and gagged in another room but after the invaders left was able to free himself and get to his wife in an attic where she was hiding and found, killed despite her 11-month-old child being with her.
Greece's state broadcaster ERT said police were centering the probe on professional burglars who had committed similar also violent break-ins and were looking at CCTV footage and trying to find clues.
The victim, Caroline Crouch, was 20, born in Greece but had a British passport and also a Filipino background, media reports said. The robbers shoved pieces of cloth in the her mouth before pushing their hands against her nose and lips, which caused her to suffocate, reports said.
They killed her even though her husband revealed where the family kept cash and valuables, the robbers getting away with some 15,000 euros ($18,219) in an incident that shocked the country.
Detectives investigating the murder will show her husband mug shots of 30 suspects and linked 12 break-ins in the past six months around Athens to an Albanian organized crime gang that uses gypsies and foreigners, the British newspaper The Daily Mail said.
The victim was buried on the island of Alonissos where she was born in a somber ceremony that saw hundreds of mourners, including her parents, Crouch's parents David Crouch and Susan Dela Cuesta.
They were overcome with grief, Sky News reported, with shops on the islands closing in a show of respect as a black hearse arrived at the Agia Paraskevi church covered in white roses.