The Greek husband of Caroline Crouch, a 20-year-old British woman, has confessed to killing her at their Athens home last month. Babis Anagnostopoulos, a pilot by profession, admitted to strangling Crouch on Thursday after detectives during investigation found smartwatch data which suggested she didn't die when first claimed.
Crouch's death drew international headlines after Anagnostopoulos gave a shocking story of hooded robbers entering the house and then torturing and killing his wife while he was tied helpless to a chair in their home in Athens. Police initially bought his version of the story but found a new angle after investigation. On Thursday, the Hellenic Police said that the helicopter pilot had now confessed to the crime.
Confessed at Last
Crouch, who grew up in Greece, was found murdered in a bedroom at the family home in the Athens suburb of Glyka Nera on 11 May after her husband alerted officers. Anagnostopoulos, 33, initially told detectives his wife was murdered by thieves who broke into their home in the early hours of 11 May and tied them up.
However, that was all a lie and has now admitted to have murdered his wife in the presence of their daughter. He told police in his statement: "That night we were fighting early. At one point she threw the child in the crib and told me to leave the house," he told the police in a new statement, according to the Daily Mail.
"I lost my temper, I suffocated her with the pillow. Then I made up the robbery." Hellenic police said on Twitter the husband confessed on Thursday. His confession, more than five weeks after her death and after he broke down in tears while giving a eulogy at her funeral, came after an eight-hour interrogation on Thursday by Hellenic Police.
"When faced with the evidence he confessed," said Apostolos Skrekas, a police spokesman.
Skrekas further said that Anagnostopoulos contradicted his initial testimony that he had been roped up and gagged by three assailants. "Instead, what we found was that he moved around the house, going from the attic to the basement," he said. However, he didn't elaborate if Anagnostopoulos acted on his own or hired accomplices.
Although Crouch's husband had made up an almost believable story, police had some doubts and had taken him in for interrogation. After police uncovered new data and he was picked up on the Greek island of Alonissos – where he'd been attending a memorial service.
Police had started doubting Anagnostopoulos' story after evidence didn't match up to his tall tale. A fitness tracker strapped on Crouch's wrist revealed her heartbeat had flat-lined at least an hour before the "pre-dawn robbery" story that Anagnostopoulos had weaved as a cover story.
He is now being held in custody pending his prosecution which is expected over the weekend. "He claimed he acted in rage at a time of crisis with his wife," Skrekas said. "He explained in full detail how he strangled the victim."
Anagnostopoulos initially told police that he was tied up by three robbers who broke into their home in the early hours, put a gun to his child's head, strangled his wife and killed his dog, and then got away with around $14,000 in cash and $41,500 in jewelry.
However, investigation revealed that the couple was quarreling in the hours before her death, with text messages exchanged in English showing one had called the other "stupid."
Police from Athens collected Anagnostopoulos by helicopter on Thursday from a nearby island. He had been attending a memorial service for his wife on the Aegean island of Alonissos, where she grew up, but was taken by boat to Skiathos where he was then flown back to the Greek capital for questioning.
Minutes before officers arrived, the suspect was photographed hugging Crouch's mother, Susan Dela Cuesta, outside the chapel where mourners laid flowers at her grave. Police said Anagnostopoulos was informed he would be called in on that day and had agreed with him that he should attend the memorial beforehand.
"We waited for the memorial service to end and then [Anagnostopoulos] was transferred to Police HQ," a police official told local news station Ant1.
Crouch, a statistics student at the University of Piraeus, moved to Greece to the island of Alonissos when she was eight. She met her future husband there and they got married in July 2019 in Portugal. They welcomed their daughter in June last year.