Husband of murdered Brit hugs her grieving mum before ‘confessing to killing’
This is the moment the husband of a murdered British woman hugged her grief-stricken mother just hours before he allegedly confessed to being the killer.
Footage from a Greek TV news station shows Charalambos (Babis) Anagnostopoulos, 33, hugging Caroline Crouch’s mother Susan Dela Cuesta at a memorial on the island of Alonissos.
The scene unfolded on Wednesday before Anagnostopoulos allegedly admitted smothering Ms Crouch, 20, with a pillow in front of their 11-month-old daughter, and strangling the family’s pet dog in a crime that shocked Greece.
The helicopter pilot is now being prosecuted on charges of intentional homicide committed in a calm mental state, animal abuse and making false statements to police.
Detectives reportedly suspect the murder was pre-meditated because a memory card was removed from a security camera inside the living room before Ms Crouch was killed last month.
Anagnostopoulos had initially told police that home invaders killed his wife and dog, and speculated that his life had been spared because he had lost consciousness and appeared dead.
His lawyer, Vassilis Spyrou, told Greek media on Friday that Anagnostopoulos had told him following the alleged confession: “I am sorry. I want to be punished for what I did.”
It came as a friend of Ms Crouch claimed to Greek news site Ethnos that Anagnostopoulos was jealous and controlling, and Ms Crouch was not happy in the relationship.
The friend said: “This was not a happy couple, but a troubled relationship. He was jealous of her and would let her do almost nothing.
“She could not have the time she wanted with her friends and she was constantly expressing her complaints about his behaviour.”
It is alleged that Ms Crouch had had enough and was preparing to end her marriage.
As Anagnostopoulos attended Wednesday’s memorial, police told him they wanted to discuss a breakthrough and new suspect in the case.
A police union official told Greek media that Anagnostopoulos was a suspect from the beginning after Ms Crouch was found dead on the morning of May 11.
Anagnostopoulos is said to have confessed on Thursday night as he was quizzed by detectives for eight hours.
Greek Police said: “Investigation of the homicide of a 20-year-old native that took place on May 11, 2021, in Glyka Nera. The perpetrator is her 33-year-old husband, who confessed to his act.”
Officers said Anagnostopoulos told detectives that he killed Ms Crouch after she told him to leave the house following an argument.
He allegedly confessed to smothering her and then staging a robbery scene.
He is also accused of killing the family’s pet dog and hanging it from a banister..
According to Greek media, Anagnostopoulos allegedly told police: “I killed her. I will tell you everything.”
He added: “That night we were fighting early. At one point she threw the child in the crib and told me to leave the house.
“She pushed me and punched me. I lost my temper, I suffocated her with the pillow. Τhen I made up the robbery.”
Anagnostopoulos initially claimed to police that Ms Crouch was strangled when armed burglars broke into their home in Glyka Nera, near Athens, and demanded cash and jewellery.
Police said the story about the burglars was fabricated.
He had told police that he temporarily lost consciousness after he and his wife were tied up and gagged in separate rooms on the morning of May 11.
Anagnostopoulos claimed the home invaders had threatened his daughter with a gun and killed their dog before fleeing with about £10,000 worth of euros which were hidden inside a Monopoly box.
He had told police he managed to loosen his bonds and call for help using his mobile phone despite being blindfolded.
The first police officer on scene had previously told how he walked in to find the baby trying to wake up Ms Crouch, whose body had been tied to a bed.
The husband’s initial statements to detectives led to the arrest of a man, who police now say was falsely accused.
Detectives said his claims of a robbery fell apart thanks to Ms Crouch’s fitness tracker, data from Anagnostopoulos’ mobile phone, and CCTV from the home in the upscale neighbourhood, Greek media reported.
A fitness tracker on Ms Crouch’s wrist showed her heart had stopped shortly after 4am, about an hour before burglars were alleged to have stormed into the home.
It is alleged that data from his phone showed him moving from the attic to the basement of the home, and back again, despite him claiming he had been tied up in a room.
The memory card from a security camera at the home had been removed at 1.20am. Police claim it was removed by the husband and flushed down the toilet.
Footage taken at 12.35am allegedly shows the Anagnostopoulos cradling his daughter on a sofa as he and Ms Crouch, who was upstairs, argued over text.
They continued to text each other for about two hours and 40 minutes. Ms Crouch is thought to have been killed at about 4am, based on the data from her fitness tracker, said police.
Anagnostopoulos had told police the break-in happened at about 6am while the family were sleeping.
Caroline Crouch: Husband says he ‘begged’ burglars
Two days after the death, Anagnostopoulos said he was in “no condition” to speak at length about his wife, adding: “She was an amazing person, full of life and full of love. Our lives will never be the same without her.
“Take care of your family, sir. Cherish your loved ones as much as you can.”
It came as he prepared to bury his wife on the island of Alonnisos, where she raised by her British father, David Crouch, and Filipina mother, Ms Dela Cuesta.
At the funeral, Anagnostopoulos held his daughter in his arms and wiped away tears as he eulogised his wife.
He told mourners: “Our loved ones are the most important people to us all. You should always look after your loved ones and enjoy your time together.”
In the days following Ms Crouch’s death, Anagnostopoulos made a number of statements to local media, telling reporters he had “begged” intruders not to harm his family.
He said the day after his wife was found dead: “I wish no-one ever goes through what we went through last night. It was a nightmare.
“We begged the thieves not to harm us. We told them where the money was and asked them to leave us alone. The police will catch them.”
A £260,000 reward for information was announced by the Greek Government.