ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Police arrested a Greek helicopter pilot who had claimed his British wife was killed during a robbery at the couple’s home outside Athens.
Police detained 33-year-old pilot and flight instructor Babis Anagnostopoulos late Thursday for the May 11 killing of Caroline Crouch, 20, who died of suffocation. Anagnostopoulos is due to appear in court on Friday.
The pilot had publicly claimed that robbers broke into the couple’s home and tied up and gagged the wife and husband in their bedroom, prompting the police to issue a 300,000-euro ($365,000) reward for information about the crime.
The couple’s infant daughter was found unharmed, and the family dog choked to death on its leash, authorities said.
Nikos Rigas, the deputy chairman of the police officers’ association of Athens, told state TV that examination of mobile devices, a smartwatch, and cameras had established a timeline that revealed inconsistencies in the pilot’s account.
”(The suspect) tried to create a crime scene environment that looked convincing: The dog was killed, and his baby was placed next to the body of the murdered mother,” Rigas said.
Police said Anagnostopoulos had confessed but his lawyers have so far made no public comment. He has not been formally charged.
Anagnostopoulos was detained after authorities announced that was summoned for questioning after attending a memorial service on the Aegean Sea island of Alonissos, where Crouch grew up.
He was transported to Athens by helicopter from the nearby island of Skiathos, and interviewed for more than six hours before police announced that he was a suspect.
In a May 16 post on Instagram, Anagnostopoulos uploaded a photograph of the couple on a trip to Portugal, writing: “Always together. Farewell, my love.”
Derek Gatopoulos, The Associated Press