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Double murder fear after elderly couple found dead in southern France

A suspect has been arrested after video surveillance captured him driving the couple’s stolen vehicle

Police monitoring the entrance to Grasse’s criminal court

Police have opened an investigation after an elderly couple were found dead at a home in Grasse Pic: Obatala-photography | Shutterstock

A man has been arrested after a retired couple were found dead at a home in southern France.

The couple were found on the floor of a property in Grasse, around 30 kilometres west of Nice.

A nurse making a home visit found the man, 84, and woman, 76, on Saturday (May 6) morning, shortly before 09:00.

Both bodies were covered with white sheets. Grasse’s public prosecutor said on Tuesday (May 9) there was evidence they had been beaten. The house had also been searched and the couple’s vehicle was missing.

A police source told French television station BFMTV that investigators are seriously considering the possibility that this was a burglary that went wrong.

Read also: Briton appeals conviction for killing his wife in south-west France

Suspect arrested

Grasse’s public prosecutor said a 32-year-old man was arrested on Monday (May 8) in the village of Cannet after video surveillance cameras from neighbouring villages showed him at the wheel of the couple’s stolen vehicle. He was also seen across the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region several times over the weekend.

The man is in police custody on suspicion of theft with violence leading to death.

He denies the charges and gave “incoherent explanations requiring significant fact-checking”, said Grasse’s public prosecutor.

The suspect was set to undergo a psychiatric evaluation on Tuesday (May 9).

‘Calm area’

Grasse’s mayor Jérôme Viaud told BFMTV the area where the couple were found was “calm, peaceful”. He said he did not know the couple personally but that he would meet their relatives soon.

Mr Viaud also told France 3 Côte d'Azur: “We are in shock and are thinking first and foremost of the family.” He added: “There is incomprehension around what happened. People want to understand”.

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