Police have issued an appeal to trace a vehicle seen close to where four people were murdered in the French Alps last September.

Saad Al-Hilli, 50, of Oaken Lane, Claygate, his wife Iqbal, 47, his mother-in-law Suhaila al-Allaf, 74, and French cyclist Sylvain Mollier were shot dead near Lake Annecy.

Nearly eight months after the murders, officers from Surrey Police want to speak to the owner of a right-hand drive 4x4 vehicle, possibly a grey, black or dark coloured BMW X5, which was seen being driven on the Combre d’Ire Road, Chevaline, at about 3.20pm on September 5.

The bodies of the four victims were found shortly after in a lay-by on the road.

The Al-Hilli’s two daughters survived the incident, the eldest daughter, Zainab, having been shot in the shoulder.

The younger daughter, Zeena, was found hiding underneath her dead mother’s skirt.

A joint investigation team was set up after the incident and the French authorities have been working closely with officers from the Surrey and Sussex major crime team to progress a number of lines of enquiry in the UK.

The appeal for informed was featured on BBC’s Crimewatch programme on Monday evening.

Nick May, detective superintendent, said: “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.

“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 enquiries.

“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.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Surrey Police on 01483 630077, quoting Operation Walmer, or email OPWalmer@surrey.pnn.police.uk, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Anyone living in France with any information can contact the French Gendarmerie on freephone number 0800 002950.