A teenage Afghan asylum seeker has been arrested in Germany for the rape and murder of the 19-year-old daughter of a senior EU official.
Medical student Maria Ladenburger, who volunteered at a refugee home in her spare time, was found dead in the university city of Freiburg, near the border with Switzerland in mid October.
Her father is Dr. Clemens Ladenburger, a lawyer who works as rthe right hand man to the legal director of the European Commission.
It is unclear whether she ever met her murderer before he took her life.
The suspect has confessed to the murder, according to police. He was arrested on Friday and will go before the courts next year.
Maria was drowned after being raped, her body found in the River Dreisam on October 16.
A single 18.5 cm long strand of dark hair that had been partially dyed blonde, was found in a blackberry bush.
Her black scarf was also found discovered on the riverbed.
DNA from the hair and the scarf were run through the police criminal database, but no matches were found.
Detectives then turned to CCTV footage in the town and the surrounding area where Maria was found.
After three weeks video footage was unearthed of the asylum seeker on a local tram who police say had a ‘very conspicuous hairstyle, an undercut hairstyle’, with a portion of his long hair dyed blonde.
He was arrested Friday and a DNA probe matched him to the crime scene. Public prosecutor Dieter Inhofer said the suspect had been taken in by a local family in Freiburg, where he had lived without incident.
David Müller, head of the police’s Special Commission, said at a press conference: ‘Through interviews and a web-based survey, we were able to reconstruct Maria’s final hours,
‘The 19-year-old student had been at a party. By 2.37am, she left the party. Maria then cycled home, as usual.
‘The young woman had been the victim of a sexual offence and a violent crime.’
On October 26 Mr Ladenburger and his wife Frederika placed a memorial notice for Maria in the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper.
It read: “Maria was for 19 years a singular ray of sunshine for our family, and that she will remain.
“We thank God for this gift, that he made you with us. We are sure that she is safe with him.”
A funeral requiem was held for Maria on October in Notre Dame des Graces Church in Brussels.
On December 6 this year Maria would have been 20.
Police are now trying to establish if he may also be responsible for the death of another girl in the area.
Carolin G., 27, was raped and murdered at the beginning of November while jogging in Endinge, just 18 miles away from Freiburg.
There was no DNA evidence at that crime scene for detectives to work with.
The news comes ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU conservative party conference in which she sets out her claim to a fourth term in office next year, against a rising tide of anger at her open-door refugee policy.
Crime among unaccompanied male refugee has in general been on the rise of late.
In picturesque Garmisch-Partenkirchen the mayor recently wrote to Bavarian state authorities pleading for help in dealing with them at a hostel, while a nationwide alcohol ban has been imposed at all their accommodation centres.
Mrs Merkel will attempt to bolster support for her stance on refugees this week, but still refuses to say what a final limit might be.
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