A four-year-old girl was found alive hiding in a car under the bodies of the three British victims of a mysterious fatal shooting in the French Alps, police confirmed Thursday.
Local prosecutor Eric Maillaud told reporters that investigators had failed to notice the young girl because she didn't move during the several hours that they waited for the forensic experts to arrive.
The child was "probably terrorized, completely concealed, completely immobile amid the corpses," Maillaud told reporters.
“This little girl is doing well. She was examined and has been hospitalized. Her life is not in danger, but she has experienced something awful," he said.
A seven-year-old girl who was wounded in the shooting had been found by police outside the car hours earlier and taken to a hospital. She was found violently beaten and is in a coma. She is believed to be the sister of the four-year-old.
The car was discovered in a quiet forested parking area near Lake Annecy, a popular tourist spot, not far from the French border with Switzerland.
The three bodies in the car are believed to be the young girls’ mother, father and grandmother. The man was named by French media as Saad al-Hilli, from Claygate, near Esher in Surrey. Maillaud did not confirm this, but said he was 50 years old, was originally from Iraq and held British citizenship.
A French cyclist was also discovered shot dead near the British-registered car, and a large number of bullet casings were reported to be scattered around the site.