British family's idyllic French holiday turns to horror

Police stand guard at the scene of the crime near Lake Annecy, in the French Alps. Photo: ITV/Richard Gaisford

Standing on the picturesque mountain path outside Chevaline it's hard to believe just what happened here less than 24 hours ago.

Even worse to think that just a few yards down the track the bodies of a British family lie in their car as one of their children lies dangerously ill in hospital and another is cared for by British Embassy staff and family members who have just arrived from the UK.

What went on in this popular French resort is hard to comprehend. We know the family were here on holiday. Mum, dad, grandma and the children. Around 4:00pm yesterday they were attacked in a car park.

A cyclist found them. The man in the front seat, the women in the back. All had been shot.

The eldest girl was on the ground so injured it was feared she was dead. Dead too another cyclist who had overtaken the one who found them all.

It would be nearly midnight when the youngest child was discovered cowering beneath the bodies of her mother and grandmother frozen.

Little wonder she smiled and clung to the policewoman who dragged from an unimaginable scene.

Campers had seen the children happily playing before the massacre. Credit: RTV

We were waiting on the cordon at the time. It was gone midnight and an ambulance went past blue lights illuminating the darkness.

We all speculated about why it would go in so late. We never imagined a child could have hidden away for so long.

This morning at the campsite where the family stayed in nearby St Jorioz fellow holiday makers told of the children and how they'd played in the lake, run from little dogs and cycled around laughing and chatting between themselves.

They would be their last hours of carefree childhood.

By the end of that day they would have found themselves caught in an attack more familiar to the big screen than daily life.

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