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Arrest made in 2012 French Alps shootings

By Sandrine Amiel, CNN
updated 8:13 AM EST, Tue February 18, 2014
Tributes are placed at the house of the al-Hilli family on September 7, 2012 in Claygate, England.
Tributes are placed at the house of the al-Hilli family on September 7, 2012 in Claygate, England.

(CNN) -- French police on Tuesday arrested a man in connection with an investigation into the mysterious 2012 slayings of a British-Iraqi family and a Frenchman in the foothills of the French Alps, a local prosecutor's office said.

The man, identified only as a 48-year-old living in eastern France's Alpine Haute-Savoie area, was arrested Tuesday morning in part because of information police gleaned after they released a sketch of a biker that had spotted near the crime scene, the office of Annecy Prosecutor Eric Maillaud said.

2012: Girl found alive among bodies

Authorities declined to release the man's name, citing "the lack of a direct connection" between the man and the victims, and a presumption of innocence.

The bodies of British-Iraqi man Saad al-Hilli, his wife Ikbal and her mother, Suhaila al-Allaf, were found in a car in a secluded parking lot on the outskirts of Chevaline, an Alpine village near the picturesque Lake Annecy, in September 2012. French cyclist Sylvain Mollet was found shot dead close by.

The couple's two young daughters survived the attack, although one was beaten and shot. The other hid for hours and was unharmed.

READ: UK police drop case against brother in French Alps deaths

READ: French police search for motorcyclist after Alps killings

Journalist Laura Akhoun contributed to this report.

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