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CRIME

Police hunt suspect who killed 9-year-old and bragged about it online

Police in North Rhine-Westphalia are searching for the man believed to have killed his nine-year-old neighbour and then posted a video gloating about it online.

Police hunt suspect who killed 9-year-old and bragged about it online
The scene of the crime in Herne. Photo: DPA.

The nine-year-old boy was killed on Monday evening in the Ruhr Valley town of Herne. Police believe his 19-year-old neighbour, Marcel H., is responsible because a user of the restricted access darknet network alerted them to a video posted in which the young man reportedly bragged about the killing.

Police have not disclosed exactly what was depicted in the video, but state interior minister Ralf Jäger said on Tuesday that he could not remember any case where “the murder was filmed and published”.

Images of the suspect also started circulating beyond the darknet on regular, publicly accessible websites, showing the young man with bloody hands next to the body of a boy. 

The child was found stabbed and lying dead in the basement of the suspect's house.

Marcel H. is currently on the run and police are urgently searching the area for him because he seemed to indicate he could commit further crimes. Police would not comment on the suspect's possible motive, but noted that he suggested he may attempt suicide.

The suspect is described as 1.75 metres tall, blond and thin, wearing glasses with camouflage pants and a vest.

Photo released by Bochum police of the suspect.

Police have warned anyone who recognizes him not to approach him, as they said the martial artist could be dangerous and is possibly armed. Instead they advise witnesses to call police.

Marcel H. is unemployed and believed to be living alone in the house. The family was reportedly supposed to move and his parents were no longer there.

He also reportedly had little social contact with others, and was not previously known to police.

“We are speechless and shocked,” said town mayor Frank Dudda through a spokesperson. “We are grieving with the relatives.”

The victim's school has brought in ministers and psychologists to offer consultations.

The darknet is a restricted access network that can only be accessed through specific software or authorization. It is often associated with the illegal sale of drugs, weapons and child porn.

CRIME

German woman ‘killed lookalike to fake her own death’

A German-Iraqi woman murdered a lookalike she found on social media to fake her own death, police have said as new details emerge of the bizarre case that first came to light last year.

German woman 'killed lookalike to fake her own death'

The body of a 23-year-old woman was found in a car in August at the Bavarian town of Ingolstadt with multiple stab wounds.

Police initially said they believed the victim owned the car, but the next day identified her as someone else who looked “remarkably similar”.

The 23-year-old German-Iraqi and a 23-year-old Kosovan man were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

However, police are now working on the theory the pair murdered the victim after tracking her down online because she looked similar to the German-Iraqi.

“Investigators now believe the female suspect wanted to go into hiding and fake her death due to family problems,” they said in a statement Monday.

She had contacted several women who looked like her via social media and attempted to lure them into meeting her by making “false promises”, the police said.

She contacted the victim in early August and arranged to meet her on August 16.

The German-Iraqi woman and the Kosovan man travelled to the victim’s home in Heilbronn, near Stuttgart, to pick her up.

On the way back to Ingolstadt, they allegedly lured her out of the vehicle in a wooded area and killed her, inflicting “a large number” of knife wounds.

The suspects then continued on to Ingolstadt, where the body was found lying in the car in the evening.

According to the daily Süddeustche Zeitung, the German-Iraqi was a beautician who entrapped the victim via Instagram by offering her cosmetics.

Both women had “long brown hair, a dark complexion and a heavily made-up face”, the newspaper said.

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