A young British woman was tortured and then murdered in front of her 11-month-old daughter, while her husband remained tied to a chair during a horror home invasion by burglars in Greece on Tuesday. Caroline Crouch, 20, was strangled and beaten to death in her own home which she shared with her 33-year-old husband Charalambos 'Babis' Anagnostopoulos in the Glyka Nera suburb of Athens.
According to police three men were involved in the horrific murder that has shaken the Mediterranean country. According to local media reports, Crouch was beaten to death after she refused to disclose where the family valuables were hidden.
According to police, Crouch was found beaten and strangled in her attic beside her 11-month-old daughter on Tuesday morning. Police said, Crouch's husband later told that at least three men, some armed with pistols, broke into the family home around 5am while a fourth stood guard outside. The intention was to rob the family's valuables.
On entering the house, the three men first killed the family dog and then tied up Babis, a helicopter pilot. Crouch was their next target. After Crouch refused to disclose where she had kept the family's valuables including money, the trio started torturing her, which went on for an hour before strangling her.
Finally, the trio took jewelry worth over $30,000 and $13,000 in cash, and fled the scene. The Greek government has issued a €300,000 ($365,000) reward for information on the gang, Greek news outlet The Dawn reported.
Interestingly, the entire episode happened in front of Crouch's daughter and husband, who couldn't help save herself from the burglars.
"They were wearing hoods ... I was tied up," the traumatized husband told security police, saying he was also gagged, according to Proto Thema. "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 cops.
All for Some Money
According to local media reports, the burglars at one point even turned their guns on the baby and threatened to shoot her if Crouch did not reveal where the family valuables were hidden. Police has started an investigation but is still clueless why this family was particularly targeted.
After Babis managed to untangle him and reached the attic he found Crouch dead. He told police that she somehow managed to reach reach a phone and call emergency services, who arrived a short time later. Theodoros Chronopoulos, a spokesman for Greek police, described the attacks as a "heinous crime, committed with extreme ferocity. Such barbarism is rare for Greece" he said.
Investigators say the raid began around 4.30 am when the gang approached the couple's house and broke a security camera outside.
They then broke a basement window to get inside the property, and found the family's dog downstairs. The dog was strangled using its own leash before being left to hang on the house's fence. The trio then attacked Babis and handcuffed him to the bed post and covered him mouth with duct tape.
They then set upon Crouch, a trained martial artist, and tied her up using a t-shirt. Babis told cops that he heard at least one of them screaming, "Tell us where the money is, [or] we will kill the baby," the reports said. They then strangled Crouch to stop her screaming — before escaping with cash and jewelry.
Babis and his daughter rushed to hospital, while officers began examining the house for evidence. Social media profiles reveal Caroline and Babis met in 2017 and got married in 2019 in Portugal. Caroline, who appears to have ties to the UK through her father's side of the family, then gave birth to their first child in June last year.