On May 11, 2021, 20-year-old British-Filipina Caroline Crouch was found dead in the attic of her own home in Glyka Nera, in Greece, after her husband, 33-year-old Babis Anagnostopoulos, initially claimed that three men barged inside their home, tied him up, tortured, and killed Caroline in front of their 11-month-old baby girl named Lydia, and stole £30,000 worth in cash and jewelry.
This case gained international attention due to an alleged robbing incident that included the heartless act of killing a woman in front of her family.
It makes us wonder how three men who overpowered Caroline's family of three would need to kill her if they only planned to rob them?
Nevertheless, the incident alarmed the Greek police, which exerted all of their efforts to discover what truly happened to Caroline Crouch.
The Point of View of Babis Anagnostopoulo
Caroline Crouch's husband, Babis Anagnostopoulos, was a helicopter pilot in Greece. In the aftermath of his wife's gruesome slaying, the media sensationalized him for becoming a grieving widower for over a month till police found out the real culprit behind his wife's killing.
The media was all over this story. Babis Anagnostopoulos "almost" pulled off an award-winning performance for his act.
Notable quotes from him throughout the course of the investigation of his wife's killing:
"I think it is only a matter of time before the murderers of my wife are found."
"The investigation is moving in the right direction. The police are literally running around 24/7 and have undertaken a huge investigation so as not to miss out on any detail."
During the initial investigation, the Greek police had no choice but to rely on the husband's testimony because he was the only credible witness.
Based on the point of view of Babis Anagnostopoulos, he told authorities that the suspects tied him to a chair and tracked down his wife, who was hiding in the attic with their 11-month-old baby.
Caroline was beaten and strangled to death by the burglars, as she was pressured to reveal where the money and jewelry were kept, threatening her child's life.
The husband overheard one of the burglars said:
"Tell us where the money is, we will kill the baby."
At some point, the thieves aimed the gun at their baby's temple. It was causing more fear in a very scary situation.
"I told them where I had hidden the money so that the torment could end quickly. But, instead, I heard my wife constantly screaming for help tied to the bed. We both screamed not to hurt us. The baby was crying, and my wife was crying as they were searching the house for money and jewelry."
Both husband and wife begged the robbers to stop and told them where they would find the valuables. Shockingly, the perpetrators killed Caroline, who was found beside her 11-month-old baby girl.
Meanwhile, as soon as Caroline's husband broke away after being tied up in the chair, he immediately went to the attic and found his wife's lifeless body beside their unharmed baby daughter.
Afterward, he promptly called the police for assistance.
Based on his testimony, he told the authorities one of the suspects who tied up his wife had a foreign dialect that he did not recognize. The police then proceeded to show mugshots of various persons of interest and played tape recordings of dialects and different languages to Caroline's husband.
Later on, they pointed out that the alleged robbers were from Albania. However, it would be proven non-sense as this story moves forward.
In looking for possible suspects, the Greek police have initially focused on a Georgian national with a criminal record, specifically for violent robberies, who was caught attempting to leave the country shortly after the crime.
Two teams of officers from the homicide and burglary departments are scanning through the records of felons recently released from prison. They are confident that the mistakes made by the ruthless perpetrators will lead to their location and arrest.
Meanwhile, detectives from Greece had no leads from DNA samples taken at the crime scene and from the elements found under Caroline's fingernails.
To add insult to injury, CCTV footage at the crime scene also proved useless as they were either faulty or had no memory cards. Initially, the authorities thought the perpetrators removed the cards to cover their tracks as it was too much of a coincidence that all of it was missing.
Eventually, the police could not find any trace of the gang, including the Georgian suspect that maintained his innocence regarding this case, who allegedly carried out the robbery and killing of Caroline Crouch, which meant the case was heading nowhere.
Through the Ministry of Public Order, the Greek government has issued a 300,000 euro reward for any information that may lead to the killers' capture.
The crime rate in Greece is relatively low compared to other countries located in the European Union. That is why the killing of Caroline Crouch became a sensational case nationwide because of how extremely brutal and violent she and her family had gone through.
The Funeral of Caroline Crouch
Caroline's parents, British man David Crouch and Filipina woman Susan Dela Cruz were devastated by their daughter's passing.
A few days after Caroline's terrible death, her family decided to lay her to rest at a hilltop cemetery located on the island of Alonissos, where the Crouch family was based. Her funeral was attended by hundreds of mourners, which consisted of Caroline's friends and relatives. Shops in the area suspended their services also to pay their respects to Caroline.
A few moments before burying the casket, Babis Anagnostopoulos would perform another act by guiding his daughter, Baby Lydia, to lay a flower on her mother's coffin as the mourners bid goodbye to Caroline.
According to medical reports, Caroline's cause of death was asphyxiation. They also found several bruises on her lips and tongue, possibly caused by a sharp object, consistent with torture, which Babis Anagnostopoulos previously claimed the perpetrators tortured his wife.
Earlier, the Greek police conducted their investigation through the testimony from Caroline's husband. But, it came nowhere, and obviously, they needed a new strategy.
Instead of solely focusing on the testimony from Babis Anagnostopoulos, the authorities found another way to put the pieces together through smart technology, particularly the husband and wife's fitness tracker and smartwatch.
Here's a timeline of consolidated events gathered from the crime scene that happened on May 11, 2021:
12:35 am - Babis Anagnostopoulos was seen with his daughter, Baby Lydia, from a CCTV camera located in their living room, texting Caroline.
1:20 am - The victim's husband removed CCTV memory cards that caused a camera blackout. For more than two hours, both husband and wife were exchanging offensive text messages with one another.
4:05 am - Data collected from Caroline's smartwatch indicated that she died between 4:05 am and 4:11 am when an increase in her heart rate was recorded.
Based on the coroner's report, a few minutes earlier, at 3:58 am, Caroline's heart rate reflected a person who was asleep. Then, at 04:05 am, her pulse increased abruptly by 50 percent from a state of sleep, which meant a person experienced an extreme state of mental or physical stress.
At this moment, Caroline was fighting for her life against her attacker in front of their infant daughter. She must have fought so hard to save her life, but her killer overpowered her.
4:11 am - Caroline's smartwatch has stopped detecting her heart rate, which means it could possibly be her time of death.
She died in a very painful manner. She was beaten and strangled to death at the hands of her husband that she married three years ago and had a baby girl with her 11 months ago.
6:00 am - Babis Anagnostopoulos called the police.
Meanwhile, Greek authorities found out the activity tracker on Babis Anagnostopoulos' smartphone indicated another version of the events that would, later on, become the turning point from the previous lies he told the police and the public.
According to investigators, the activity tracker on his phone showed him moving around the house when he claimed that he was tied up. The recorded time at which CCTV memory cards were removed from the home security camera also told a different story to his version of events.
After studying both the camera and the memory card, the investigators determined that it was removed four or five hours before the specific time that the victim's husband told the authorities the burglars left their residence.
Furthermore, the Greek police also reviewed Caroline's diary, which they obtained as evidence, and discovered that she was planning to leave her husband.
On July 3, 2020, when their baby daughter Lydia was a month old, Caroline wrote:
"Today my little one is a month old- it's also the day I told Babi (her husband) I want to leave...I feel awful."
She continues by writing that she found a house in Halandri, a suburb of Athens, and adding that she was thinking of leaving him before she got pregnant but eventually stayed with him because she didn't want her daughter to grow up without parents.
The diary also includes numerous entries where Caroline blames her hormones for the couple's fights and says she felt ashamed that her hormones strongly affected her.
Still, her husband had no right to kill her, whatever she was feeling.
These revelations led the police to schedule another interview with Caroline's husband. After eight hours of interrogation, he finally confessed to killing his wife and staging everything to make it look like his family was a victim of a vicious robbery, including placing their baby girl beside his wife's lifeless body and drowning their family dog to make the crime scene look more brutal and sympathetic towards him.
According to Babis Anagnostopoulos, he blacked out and impulsively decided to kill his wife because she threatened to leave him with their daughter.
"That night, we had been fighting since early in the day. At one point, she threw the baby into its bassinet and told me to get up and leave the house. She pushed me and punched me. I blurred and suffocated her, and then I staged the crime scene."
On the other hand, the Greek police described Caroline's husband as a "top-class actor" as he managed to pretend to be devastated on national TV and was able to attend his wife's funeral before his confession.
As for Baby Lydia, initially, her custody went to the parents of Caroline's husband. However, as of writing, Caroline's parents are seeking sole custody of their grandchild.
On the third week of June, Babis Anagnostopoulos was charged with murder, and the trial is currently ongoing. The suspect’s confession caused public outrage worldwide.
Aside from the efforts shown by the Greek police, the ultimate crime-solver that helped figure out the truth behind the killing of Caroline Crouch was the data gathered from her and her killer's smart devices.
"Let's not forget that we live in the era of technology, and the answers it gives are like irrefutable witnesses and they do not get overturned in any courtroom. I'm so sorry for the poor woman and her mother who lives with this pain."
Caroline Crouch was a British-Filipina that lived in Greece when she was eight years old.
She was only 20-years-old when her ruthless husband decided to end her life and cut her off their 11-month-old daughter's life forever. Aside from the painful circumstances that the victim and her family are going through, this case emphasizes that domestic abuse to women from their husbands is still prevalent in the 21st century.
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