Alps Murders: Police Appeal Over Missing BMW

British police helping their French counterparts investigating the murder of a British-Iraqi family in the French Alps have released footage of a 4x4 vehicle seen close to the crime scene.

Detectives say they want to trace the owner of a right-hand drive 4x4 vehicle which was spotted in the French commune of Chevaline at around 3:20 pm on September 5 last year.

"I am appealing for anyone with a right-hand drive 4X4, particularly a grey, black or dark coloured BMW X5, to cast their minds back to September last year," Detective Superintendent Nick May said on the BBC's Crimewatch programme on Monday.

"Were you on holiday in the French Alps at the time? Did you visit the Annecy area?

"I am particularly keen to speak to any owner of such a vehicle who visited the towns of Doussard or Chevaline on the afternoon of September 5 as they may be able to provide vital information to assist with this ongoing joint investigation.

"This location is very popular and there may have been a number of tourists staying in the local area or travelling through at that time of year.

"The timing of this sighting is clearly significant and it is important that we trace this vehicle if only to eliminate it from our inquiries.

"This was a shocking crime, and we remain committed to working with our colleagues in France to find whoever was responsible and bring them to justice," he added.

Police in France have been struggling to solve the case of Saad al-Hilli, his wife Iqbal and her mother Suhaila al-Allaf, who were all shot dead inside their estate car near Lake Annecy.

The body of a French cyclist believed to be an innocent bystander was also discovered at the scene.

The couple's two young daughters survived the attack.

Investigators originally said they believed the deaths may have been the result of a dispute between Mr al-Hilli and his brother, Zaid, but later changed the focus of their investigation.