A British woman has been tortured and murdered in front of her 11-month-old daughter during a horror home invasion in Greece.
Caroline Crouch, 20, was strangled to death at the home she shared with 33-year-old husband Babis Anagnostopoulos in the Glyka Nera suburb of Athens early Tuesday.
Police say three men – some of whom were armed with pistols – broke into the family home around 5am while a fourth stood guard outside.
The trio killed the family dog, tied up Babis – a helicopter pilot – then tortured Caroline for an hour to get her to reveal the location of the family’s valuables, before strangling her.
The men then took jewellery worth worth £21,500 and £13,000 in cash, and fled.
The Greek government have issued a €300,000 (£258,000) reward for information.
Caroline Crouch, 20 (right), has been strangled to death at her home in Athens, Greece, that she shared with husband Babis Anagnostopoulos (left) and their infant daughter (pictured)
Police say a gang of burglars broke into Caroline (left) and Babis’s (right) home, tied him up, tortured and strangled her, then stole £33,000 in cash and jewellery and fled
Babis eventually managed to 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 added.
Investigators say the raid began around 4.30am 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.
Police say the animal was strangled using its own leash, before the men made their way upstairs to an attic bedroom where the couple were asleep next to their child.
Babis was attacked first – with the men handcuffing him to a bed post and covering his eyes and mouth with duct tape.
They then set upon Caroline, a trained martial artist, and tied her up using a t-shirt.
Caroline, who is thought to have been born Greece but has a British passport, began dating Babis in 2017, married him in 2019, and gave birth in June last year
Caroline was a student at the University of Piraeus, according to Greek media, though it is unclear what she studied. Pictured: Caroline and Babis with their daughter
Police have cordoned off the couple’s home in the Glyka Nera neighbourhood of Greece and are scouring it for evidence
Officers believe the gang likely targeted the couple, and may have had them under surveillance before striking
For around an hour they tortured her, demanding the location of the family’s money and jewellery, which are thought to have been kept in a safe.
According to news site Ta Nea, Babis told police that the men – speaking in broken Greek – had told Caroline that they would hurt the baby if she did not give them the location of the safe.
The men then pointed a gun at the infant, the site reports, causing Caroline to scream. She was then strangled to keep her quiet, with a blouse or pillowcase.
After taking the family’s valuables, the men fled. Police say the trio spoke a foreign language among themselves, which Babis was unable to identify.
Around 6am Babis managed to reach a phone and called police, who rushed to the scene which is now cordoned off.
Babis and his daughter were taken to hospital, while officers began examining the house for evidence.
Social media profiles reveal Caroline and Babis met in 2017 and were married in July 2019 in a ceremony 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.
Police say hooded men broke into the home in the Glyka Nera suburb while one stood guard, strangled the family dog, tied up the husband, then tortured and strangled his wife
The pair lived in Athens, where Babis worked as an ‘air taxi’ pilot flying out of Athens international airport and a smaller airfield in nearby Megara.
Caroline was a student at the University of Piraeus, according to Greek media, though it is unclear what she studied.
Police say it appears the robbers were experienced, and likely surveilled the couple for some time before the raid.
Investigators are now reviewing local CCTV cameras to see how the burglars got away and whether they were in the area before the raid.
They are also interviewing the couple’s neighbours and friends to see if anyone gave away information about the pair keeping large amounts of cash in the house.