Saad al-Hilli, the father shot dead with his wife and mother in law, was "the most generous guy you could ever meet", a friend told MSN as police investigate whether an argument over money was behind his murder.
Saad al-Hilli: 'The most generous man you could meet'
The Iraq-born father of two was shot in the head in a forest near where his family had left their caravan, nicknamed Spotty, near Lake Annecy in France. His body and that of his wife, Iqbal and mother in law were found in his car. His daughter, Zeena, aged four was discovered unharmed hours later hiding in the footwell while her elder sister Zainab is in a medically-induced coma after being beaten and shot in the road.
Zainab may have been able to have escape the car because she suffered car sickness and so liked to travel in the front passenger seat.
A French cyclist was also found dead at the scene.
"He was the most generous guy you could ever meet. If you mentioned you wanted something he would go off and buy it himself," the friend, who did not wish to me named, said.
French police have said they are investigating whether a family dispute was connected with the killing. Mr al-Hilli's father died last year and Saad was said to want to remain in the family house in Claygate, Surrey where he and his children had grown up.
"He was the nicest person and he wanted that house for his two girls because they had been born there and it was the only memory of his mother who had died about ten years earlier," the friend added.
A DIY enthusiast, Mr al-Hilli had spent the summer decorating his children's bedroom and Zeena was due to join her sister at the local school this week.
"He was not at all greedy, he would have given up anything else [except the house]," according to the friend.
- Timeline: how the shooting unfolded