Burglars who killed a British mother may have known she had £10,000 in cash in her Athens home, detectives said last night.
Caroline Crouch, 20, was tortured and strangled in front of her baby girl while the thieves tied up her husband, Charalambos Anagnostopoulos.
The killers made off with £20,000 of jewellery and around £10,000 in bank notes that Mr Anagnostopoulos had withdrawn to pay for building work.
A police source said they were exploring whether the robbers had a tip-off about the money.
‘That is certainly a very important line of inquiry,’ the source added.
Caroline Crouch, 20, was tortured and strangled in front of her baby girl during a raid in her Athens home
The killers tied up her husband Charalambos Anagnostopoulos (pictured) and made off with £20,000 of jewellery and around £10,000 in bank notes
Mr Anagnostopoulos revealed the location of the cash – in a Monopoly box – while being threatened by the robbers who spoke in broken Greek.
The 33-year-old said in an emotional statement: ‘I heard my wife screaming for help tied to the bed while I was tied to the floor.
‘We screamed not to be hurt. We begged the thieves not to harm us. We told them where the money was and asked them to leave us alone.
‘The baby was crying, my wife was crying and someone or some people were looking to find more money and jewellery. Suddenly they left the room and I couldn’t hear my wife’s voice any more.’
Detectives have drawn up a ‘red list’ of violent criminals who are being investigated for links to the appalling crime. The source said it was ‘one of the most heinous’ offences they had seen.
Miss Crouch, born to a British father and Filipino mother, was suffocated with a pair of trousers, and a piece of fabric was found inside her mouth.
Detectives have cordoned off the couple’s home in the Glyka Nera neighbourhood of Greece as investigations continue
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
‘Even though they carried weapons, the robbers used their hands,’ a police insider told the newspaper Proto Thema.
‘This was a robbery – this death was unnecessary to achieve their goal.
‘We believe the perpetrators are likely to have a criminal past and are working our way through possible suspects who will have some knowledge.’
Miss Crouch’s 11-month-old girl, who had a gun pointed at her, and her husband, a helicopter pilot who trained in the UK, were unhurt.
The family’s husky was also strangled with its lead and left hanging on a fence after the shocking raid in the early hours of Tuesday.
Friends and family yesterday paid tribute to Miss Crouch, a student at the University of Piraeus, who grew up on the Aegean island of Alonissos, where she met her husband.
Her friend Kiki Anagnostou wrote on Facebook: ‘You were always happy, you were the soul of every company and team. So full of joy for life, an angel on earth. Who was so cruel to cut the thread of your life? Such a shame and words can’t tell how big this loss is.’
Miss Crouch’s mother, Susan Dela Cuesta, who runs a cleaning firm, travelled to Athens yesterday.
Greek justice minister, Kostas Tsiaras, said officials would seek sentences of at least 20 years for the killers.