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Detectives probing if robbers who killed British mother in Greece believed €100,000 was in the home


The heartbroken mother of a British woman murdered in Greece today told of her anguish, saying, ‘there are no words that can express my pain’.

Caroline Crouch, 20, was strangled by masked raiders feared to be members of a violent gang, who held a gun to her 11-month-old daughter’s head. 

Her mother Susan Dela Guesta told MailOnline how she cannot come to terms with Caroline’s brutal killing.

Speaking to MailOnline from her home on the Greek island of Alonissos where they buried her on Friday, she said: ‘So many people have spoken about Caroline and what a lovely person she was. But for me her death is too raw for me speak about her. I am sorry. I am not in a good place.’ 

She spoke as police in Greece confirmed samples taken from Caroline’s fingernails – which show that the martial arts expert fought for her life – are now being examined by investigators.  

Detectives are investigating whether robbers who murdered British mother Caroline Crouch (left)  in front of her baby (pictured) in Athens were tipped off about a €100,000 (£86,000) land purchase and believed the cash was in the house

Susie pictured above at her daughter's graveside on the island of Alonnisos in Greece

Susie pictured above at her daughter’s graveside on the island of Alonnisos in Greece

Caroline Crouch

Babis

A detailed account of the terrifying burglary in which 20-year-old Caroline Crouch (left) was strangled to death as her husband, Charalambos Anagnostopolous, known as Babis, (right) lay helpless next door has emerged

Babis has described how he immediately directed the criminals who broke into his home to a €10,000 (£8,630) stash of money when the they threatened to kill his baby daughter Lydia

Babis has described how he immediately directed the criminals who broke into his home to a €10,000 (£8,630) stash of money when the they threatened to kill his baby daughter Lydia 

Detectives are also investigating whether the robbers believed she had 100,000 Euros (£86,000) hidden at the house because she and husband Charalambos Anagnostopolous were about to buy some land.

Caroline’s widower – known as Babis – has given police a detailed account of the terrifying burglary in which he told them how the robbers surprised him as he lay sleeping next to wife Caroline.

The helicopter pilot described how he immediately directed the criminals to a 10,000 Euros (£8,630) stash of money when the they threatened to kill his baby daughter Lydia.

But it is thought that the robbers believed the father was hiding a larger sum of money intended to pay for a plot of land nearby where the young couple planned to build a home.

According to Greece’s Protema news website, the 33-year-old, who is known as Babis, told police: ‘The robber shouted at me “where is the money”. I immediately told him “I will tell you, please do not hurt us.”

‘I explained that in the basement among my daughter’s toys there was a monopoly set that contained almost 10,000 Euros.

‘Two members of the gang tied me up with string. They bound my wrists and feet and pulled me into a foetal position. 

‘They wrapped insulating tape around my neck very tightly. And around my mouth, leaving my nose exposed. They also covered my eyes. But there was a small crack through which I could see.

‘I could hear them shouting and threatening Caroline, saying; “We will kill your child if you do not tell us where the money is.” I could not see what was happening because I was facing the other way.’

Babis told how he fell unconscious for up 30 minutes because the tape around his neck was so tight.

However through the hole in his blind-fold he managed to identify the robbers as two six-foot-tall slim, athletic men, and a short, fat man, who appeared be the leader.

The couple were planning to build their dream home on a plot of land in Drafi, a picturesque suburb of Athens, some 20 minutes away. Caroline also wanted to create a cat sanctuary there.

The couple were planning to build their dream home on a plot of land in Drafi, a picturesque suburb of Athens, some 20 minutes away. Caroline also wanted to create a cat sanctuary there.

Babis shared a tribute to his wife Caroline Crouch on Sunday. Under the photo taken on their wedding day he writes: 'Together forever. Have a nice trip my love'

Babis shared a tribute to his wife Caroline Crouch on Sunday. Under the photo taken on their wedding day he writes: ‘Together forever. Have a nice trip my love’

The helicopter pilot saw the face of his 20-year-old wife's killer as he leapt onto the bed where they were sleeping

The helicopter pilot saw the face of his 20-year-old wife’s killer as he leapt onto the bed where they were sleeping

Caroline, who is thought to have been born Greece but has a British passport, began dating Babis in 2017, married him in 2019, and gave birth in June last year

Caroline, who is thought to have been born Greece but has a British passport, began dating Babis in 2017, married him in 2019, and gave birth in June last year

The criminal gang spent an hour searching for more cash during the raid in the early hours of Tuesday, as they believed Babis and wife Caroline were holding out on them

The criminal gang spent an hour searching for more cash during the raid in the early hours of Tuesday, as they believed Babis and wife Caroline were holding out on them

The taller men wore black hoods. One carried a silver-coloured revolver, the other a black pistol. The third man wore a balaclava and was unarmed.

The third man, the leader, shouted; ‘where is the money’, Babis told police. The criminal gang spent an hour searching for more cash, as they believed Babis and wife Caroline were holding out on them.

The couple were planning to build their dream home on a plot of land in Drafi, a picturesque suburb of Athens, some 20 minutes away. Caroline also wanted to create a cat sanctuary there.

Detectives are investigating whether the criminals found out that Babis had withdrawn 100,000 Euros (£86,000) from the bank to make this purchase and believed the money was in the house.

But the gang did not know that the sale had gone ahead and the money had already changed hands before the break-in. 

Detectives are investigating whether the criminals found out that Caroline and Babis had withdrawn 100,000 Euros (£86,000) from the bank to purchase land and believed the money was in the house

Detectives are investigating whether the criminals found out that Caroline and Babis had withdrawn 100,000 Euros (£86,000) from the bank to purchase land and believed the money was in the house

Investigators say Tuesday's raid began around 4.30am when the gang approached the couple's house (pictured) and broke a security camera outside

Investigators say Tuesday’s raid began around 4.30am when the gang approached the couple’s house (pictured) and broke a security camera outside 

Pictured: Marks seen on the door and windows in the rear yard of the house where the burglars are believed to have entered into the house

Pictured: Marks seen on the door and windows in the rear yard of the house where the burglars are believed to have entered into the house

Police say hooded men broke into the home in the Glyka Nera suburb while one stood guard, strangled the family dog, tied up the husband, then tortured and suffocated his wife

Police say hooded men broke into the home in the Glyka Nera suburb while one stood guard, strangled the family dog, tied up the husband, then tortured and suffocated his wife

Caroline Crouch, 20, gave birth to her 11-month-old daughter Lydia in June. The infant was found by police next to her mother's body after the attack

Caroline Crouch, 20, gave birth to her 11-month-old daughter Lydia in June. The infant was found by police next to her mother’s body after the attack 

Baby Lydia is carried by her grandmother away from the scene of a horrific burglary-turned-murder in Athens on Tuesday

Baby Lydia is carried by her grandmother away from the scene of a horrific burglary-turned-murder in Athens on Tuesday 

Investigators believe this theory is consistent with the robbers’ continued demands for money even after Babis had directed them to his 10,000 Euros (£8,630) stash.

Detectives investigating the murder on Sunday confirmed they have arrested an unnamed Georgian man on the Bulgarian border.  

He was arrested in Evros, in the far north-east of Greece, which is the main route into Bulgaria, local newspaper Vima reported.

The suspect, who was travelling by car, was held following a routine police stop to cross check his identification when they discovered he was travelling on a fake passport.  

A Georgian man was arrested on Sunday in Evros, in the far north-east of Greece, the main route to Bulgaria, in connection with the attack

A Georgian man was arrested on Sunday in Evros, in the far north-east of Greece, the main route to Bulgaria, in connection with the attack

Detectives have cordoned off the couple's home in the Glyka Nera neighbourhood of Greece as investigations continue. Police have linked the attack to a burglary in Pikermi, only 20 minutes from the couple's house, on March 7

Detectives have cordoned off the couple’s home in the Glyka Nera neighbourhood of Greece as investigations continue. Police have linked the attack to a burglary in Pikermi, only 20 minutes from the couple’s house, on March 7

A police source said DNA analysis suggested he was one of five people who tied up an old couple and their cleaning lady in a burglary in Pikermi on March 7.

The home is just 20 minutes drive from the Glyka Nera neighbourhood where Caroline was murdered. 

It was also revealed that Babis has helped police to identify two of the weapons carried by the raiders.

He said the burglars were armed with a silver Colt and a black pistol.

Police said the weapons were unusual to find in Greece and believe tracing them could prove vital in identifying Caroline’s killers.

A £250,000 reward for information has been offered, and investigators are thought to be working on the theory that the gang was well organised, likely surveilled the couple before the raid, and somehow knew they were keeping a large amount of cash at home.  

Caroline was laid to rest yesterday on the island of Alonnisos, where she spent most of her childhood. 

Residents of Alonnisos flocked to the island's Agia Paraskevi church to pay their respects to Caroline Crouch as she was laid to rest on Friday

Residents of Alonnisos flocked to the island’s Agia Paraskevi church to pay their respects to Caroline Crouch as she was laid to rest on Friday

Widower Babis pictured with his 11-month-old daughter at the burial of Caroline on the island of Alonnisos

Widower Babis pictured with his 11-month-old daughter at the burial of Caroline on the island of Alonnisos 

A black hearse carrying her coffin - which was covered with carefully placed white roses - could be seen this morning entering the ferry at the port of Volos, central Greece, on its way to the island of Alonissos

A black hearse carrying her coffin – which was covered with carefully placed white roses – could be seen this morning entering the ferry at the port of Volos, central Greece, on its way to the island of Alonissos

Susie Dela Cuesta pictured above at her daughter's graveside on the island of Alonnisos in Greece yesterday

Susie Dela Cuesta pictured above at her daughter’s graveside on the island of Alonnisos in Greece yesterday

Two women - one using a walking stick - carry a bunch of flowers as they pay tribute to Caroline

An elderly man carries a bunch of white flowers at Caroline's funeral

Friends and relatives of Caroline gathered on Friday and carried flowers as they paid tribute to the murdered mother

Friends and family stand next to the hearse carrying Caroline's coffin as they hold flowers outside the Agia Paraskevi church

Friends and family stand next to the hearse carrying Caroline’s coffin as they hold flowers outside the Agia Paraskevi church

Beautiful wreaths are left outside the church for Caroline's funeral while flowers were left on wooden tables by mourners

Beautiful wreaths are left outside the church for Caroline’s funeral while flowers were left on wooden tables by mourners



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