The investigation into the October rape and murder of a young woman in Germany has seen a significant development after the major operation led to the arrest of a 17 year old Afghan “refugee”.
The body of 19 year old medical student and migrant home volunteer Maria Ladenburger was discovered in a river in the town of Freiburg on the 16th of October. An investigation determined the daughter of a senior European Commission lawyer had been raped, and then drowned.
The subsequent investigation into the death of Miss Ladenburger was spurred on, Die Welt reports, by intense public interest in the case and pressure being placed on police to find the rapist. After 68 detectives followed a reported 1,600 leads and interviewed 1,400 potential witnesses the 17 year old migrant was arrested, as revealed by police in a press conference on Saturday.
Although the arrested man has not been named, it has been revealed he is a recent arrival to the country, having come to Germany from Afghanistan as an asylum seeker in 2015. Police said the man had a previous criminal record, having been investigated for “illegal entry”, and until his arrest had been living with a local German family who had taken him in.
In tracking down their suspect police removed an entire hedge from the scene of the crime to a laboratory for testing. Police found a hair belonging to the suspect in the bush. Nearby were also found a scarf belonging to the victim and a discarded bicycle. Both are reported to have had the suspect’s DNA on.
Police have not revealed whether Miss Ladenburger had any previous relationship with the migrant or whether they had met at the asylum home she volunteered at.
Some attention has focussed on the father of the dead girl, a senior EU official. A lawyer for the notoriously pro-mass migration European Commission, a notice he placed in German newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said his daughter had been a “ray of sunshine” for the family and asked mourners to donate to the Bangladeshi Catholic Church rather than sending flowers.
The mayor of Freiburg praised police for working to make their arrest so efficiently, but warned locals to not link the rape and murder to the immigration status of the killer. Green party mayor Dieter Salomon said: “It is good for the police to have [worked on] this cruel and terrible murder so fast… [people should] not use the origin of the culprit to make generalisations about migrants, but instead to see this as an isolated case”.
Baden-Württemberg police are now investigating whether their suspect is linked to another rape and murder case in the area. A local woman named only as ‘Carolin G’ disappeared while jogging in early November and was later discovered to have been raped and murdered, as in the other case.