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CRIME

Child murder suspect arrested, as one more body found

Police on Thursday confirmed they had arrested the young man who is believed to be responsible for the murder of a nine-year-old boy on Monday. The suspect led investigators to a further dead body in an apartment.

Child murder suspect arrested, as one more body found
A memorial set up for the victim. Photo: DPA.

Police confirmed late on Thursday that the person they arrested in Herne, North Rhine-Westphalia is the main suspect, 19-year-old Marcel H.

Authorities also confirmed that they had found a dead body in an apartment, correcting an earlier press release which stated that two bodies had been found.

On Monday the nine-year-old boy, Jaden, was found dead with stabbing wounds in Marcel H.'s basement in Herne, but the 19-year-old had apparently fled. According to the lawyer for Jaden's family, their neighbour Marcel H. had lured the boy over under the pretext of helping him hold a ladder.

Photos of Marcel H. surfaced online, depicting him with bloody hands next to a body.

The boy's apparent murder prompted a nationwide search, involving helicopters and sniffer dogs. Police received more than 1,400 tips during the course of the search. 

Police said on Thursday that a man went to a snack stand and said: “I am the one they're looking for, please call the police”.

The man also told police about an apartment fire in the town. When officers arrived at the location, they found a further dead body. Police are still interrogating the man.

“[The victim's] family is infinitely relieved and happy that the suspected murderer of little Jaden could be caught alive, and can be given his just punishment,” the family's lawyer told Bild.

CRIME

US man confesses to murder of tourist by famed Neuschwanstein castle

An American man accused of raping and killing a fellow US tourist near Bavaria's famed Neuschwanstein castle last year made a wide-ranging confession on the first day of his trial Monday.

US man confesses to murder of tourist by famed Neuschwanstein castle

Troy Philipp B. faces several charges including one count of murder over the death of the 21-year-old woman. He also stands accused of the attempted murder of the victim’s friend, also an American citizen.

“The accused committed the incomprehensible act,” his lawyer Philip Müller told the district court in the southern town of Kempten.

The two women, then 21 and 22 years old, had been hiking in the Neuschwanstein area in June last year when they met B., who offered to take them to a viewpoint, investigators said.

At a secluded spot, the man, then 30, allegedly pushed the 21-year-old woman to the ground and proceeded to rape and strangle her.

Her friend intervened, leading to a scuffle in which the accused allegedly pushed the 22-year-old off a steep slope.

The accused then continued his sexual assault of the 21-year-old woman, strangling her with a belt while filming the act.

Interrupted by hikers who stumbled on the crime, he pushed the rape victim down the same slope while she was unconscious.

When mountain rescue workers found the two women, the 22-year-old was injured but able to talk.

The rape victim was seriously injured and taken by helicopter to hospital, where she died later that night from her injuries.

READ ALSO: US tourist dies after assault at famed Bavarian castle

‘Deeply ashamed’

B.’s lawyer said the accused had not planned the attack in advance.

“He was aware that the victim could die without help, yet he still left her behind,” Müller told the court.

His client was “deeply ashamed” about his actions and wished to apologise to the victim’s family, the lawyer added.

B., who hails from the US state of Michigan, spoke only to confirm the accuracy of his lawyer’s statement to the court.

He is not expected to make any further comments during the trial, scheduled to run until March 13th.

Germany’s top-selling daily Bild reported that the rescue operation and his subsequent arrest took place in front of hundreds of tourists.

Built in the 19th century by King Ludwig II, Neuschwanstein castle is one of the most visited sites in Germany, attracting over a million visitors a year.

B. faces up to life in prison if convicted.

B. on Monday also confessed to possession of child pornography, which investigators uncovered as part of their probe into the attack.

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