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Rey-Bellet's husband is found dead

Corinne Rey-Bellet and her husband in a picture from 2002

(Keystone Archive)

The husband of former Swiss ski champion Corinne Rey-Bellet, who was murdered on Sunday with her brother, has been found dead in western Switzerland.

The body of the 34-year-old man, who was the subject of national and international arrest warrants, was discovered on Wednesday evening near Ollon by a local person.

Police told a news conference on Thursday that he had killed himself. A gun was found next to the body.

Police stepped up their hunt for the private banker, widely regarded as the main suspect in the murders, on Wednesday afternoon after shots were heard in the region.

They had already been combing the area after the man's car had been found nearby on Monday. His body was found only 700 metres away from it.

One of the greats

Rey-Bellet was considered one of the world's best skiers when she retired three years ago.

She gave up competitive sport due to injury but not before winning silver in the women's downhill at the world championships in St Moritz – the high point of a decade-long career.

In all she won five World Cup titles, memorably winning both the downhill and the super-G on the same day in St Anton, Austria, in 1999.

What was all the more remarkable about her historic double was that she hadn't made the podium since finishing third in the giant slalom at Crans Montana in 1992.

Until her second place at the 2003 world championships, Rey-Bellet had suffered a run of near misses at the world's biggest competitions.

So close

She narrowly missed out on an Olympic medal in Salt Lake City in 2002, finishing in fifth place in the downhill. "To come fifth is heart-breaking because it's so close," Rey-Bellet said at the time.

She also came close to a medal at the world championships in St Anton in 2001, twice ending up in fourth place.

Her three World Cup downhill victories came at Lenzerheide, Switzerland (2002), Altenmarkt, Austria (2000) and St Anton, Austria (1999). She also won two super-G titles: Are, Sweden (2001) and St Anton (1999). In all she managed 15 World Cup podium finishes.

Rey-Bellet, who was born in Les Crosets in August 1972, also won back-to-back Swiss downhill titles in 2001 and 2002.

The funeral of Rey-Bellet and her brother, who were killed at the family home in canton Valais, is due to take place on Friday in the village of Val d'Illiez.

swissinfo with agencies

In brief

Corinne Rey-Bellet was born on August 2, 1972, in Les Crosets, canton Valais.

Her best result was a silver medal in the downhill at the world championships in St Moritz in 2003.

Between 1999 and 2003 she won five times on the World Cup circuit - three in downhill and two in super-G. She made it onto the podium on 15 occasions.

In 2002 she finished third in the overall World Cup downhill standings. A knee injury led to her retirement the following year.

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