Carl Davies death: Family devastated after murder charges dropped
The family of a man found dead on an Indian Ocean island have said they are stunned that charges against three men accused of murder have been dropped.
Carl Davies, 33, a teacher from Sittingbourne in Kent, died on Reunion Island in November 2011 in what was initially treated as an accident.
A murder investigation was launched 10 days later and four men were charged.
One man is still due to face trial. but the family said the French authorities' decision was "a massive blow".
Mr Davies, a former marine, is believed to have arrived on the French-governed island on 7 November 2011.
His body was discovered at the bottom of a ravine two days later.
The murder investigation began after a post-mortem examination in Kent found stab wounds and evidence Mr Davies had been beaten.
Four men were charged with his murder in February 2013 but no trial has ever been held.
Kerrie Stewart, Mr Davies' sister, said the decision to drop the charges against three of the suspects was "heartbreaking".
"It's just a massive, massive blow.
"The evidence that we thought was against them was overwhelming. It doesn't at this minute make any sense at all as to how the judge has come to his decision," she said.
The family are planning to challenge the decision by appealing to the French Supreme Court.
Maria Davies, Mr Davies' mother, said: "You don't steal something so precious from me and not expect us to fight.
"If it takes every last penny we have and every last breath in our body we'll continue to do that."