Update: Photo added.
As reported here last month, the politically restrictions placed on the use of DNA evidence by the German police has impeded any number of criminal investigations, especially where migrants are involved. The report specifically mentioned the rape and murder of a young woman in the city of Freiburg back in October.
Maria L., murder victim in Freiburg, October 2016
Well, now that murder has been solved, and nobody is surprised that the alleged murderer is an Afghan culture-enricher. The case was solved by the discovery of a single dyed hair near the scene of the crime — which can only fuel further debate about DNA evidence.
Murdered student in Freiburg: dyed hair led to a hot scent
After the murders in Freiburg, police arrested a 17-year-old Afghan refugee. His hairstyle revealed him. This case will be a topic of debate.
Dec 3, 2016
by Rüdiger Soldt
Photo caption: A large crowd at the press conference where police announced the arrest on Saturday. It will now provide material for debate.
It was only Friday morning in Freiburg when Martin Jäger (Christian Democrats), Secretary of State in the Ministry of the Interior in Baden-Württemberg, announced that 25 additional police officers were being sent to the city, which has been shaken by two sex killings.
At 12.30 pm on the same day, the police were able to arrest the alleged murderer of the 19-year-old medical student Maria L. in the Freiburg district of Littenweiler: a 17-year-old Afghan refugee living with a family; he had come to the student town in southern Baden illegally as a so-called “unaccompanied minor refugee” (UMA) in 2015.
On the night of October 15-16, the medical student Maria L., the daughter of a high EU official, was raped near the Black Forest Stadium, and was found drowned shortly thereafter in the River Dreisam. It remains to be clarified by further investigation whether she was unconscious and thrown into the Dreisam after the rape, or if the murderer drowned her violently.
Unclear whether victim and perpetrator knew each other
The young woman was on her bicycle on her way back from the “Big Medi Night”, a party for medical students, and was assaulted on the illuminated bicycle lane around 3am.
Police searched the crime scene thoroughly and had the branches of a blackberry bush on the banks of the River Dreisam cut and analysed. In the hedge, the investigators found a hair approximately 18.5 centimeter (7.3 inches) long. “It was this optically striking hair in the thorn bush that caught our attention,” says Müller.
The dyed hair was the basis of further research. Over several days, criminal investigators analysed the video recordings from the street tram line 1, which leads to the vicinity of the crime scene. Video recordings with a volume of 13 terabytes had to be sifted. The officers noted a young man with an “undercut hairstyle”, who had dyed one braid. “After the technical review of the video recordings, the man could then be screened and checked on December 2,” said Müller.
It is still unclear whether the refugee met his later victim accidentally at the River Dreisam, or whether he already knew the medical student. It still needs to be ascertained whether there is a connection to the murder of the jogger Carolin G., who was raped and murdered in broad daylight on a path in the vineyards at the beginning of November in the town of Endingen, Kaiserstuhl. Until now, the investigators cannot see any connection, the course of events are said to have been very different, and there is currently no utilisable DNA material. In the region — and especially in the social networks — rumors are circulating that it could be a serial killer. There is no proof of this.
Politicians have been demanding more police in Freiburg for years
The murders in Freiburg have also led to a political discussion about the understaffing of the police and impediments placed on investigation in the analysis of DNA traces. Police have been demanding a better staffing of the police in Freiburg for almost ten years. The situation in the Dreiländereck has the city suffering from a high degree of criminality, although no serious crimes.
Justice Minister Guido Wolf (Christian Democrats) is campaigning to have the criminal code changed, so that the color of the eyes, skin or hair, can be determined based on DNA samples. Because of the narrow restrictions in paragraph 81g of the Criminal Procedure Code, the use of DNA traces by the police is limited; it is not allowed to draw conclusions about the ethnicity of perpetrators, which would constitute a serious interference with fundamental rights.
There have been problems with young refugees for some time now
The 2004 Criminal Procedure Code states: “In the investigation, it is not allowed to draw any findings other than those required to identify the DNA identification pattern as well as the sex.” Justice Minister Wolf advocates utilizing “all constitutional approaches” in the future. The German Confederation of Criminal Investigators (Bund Deutscher Kriminalbeamter) also considers the existing regulation to be no longer up-to-date.
For quite some time there have been problems in Freiburg with unaccompanied minor foreigners, who are cared for by the youth services of charitable institutions. There has been occasional sexual harassment. This group of refugees has been repeatedly conspicuous with battery and drug dealing at the Stühlinger Kirchplatz near the train station. Also in this respect, the case will provide material for debate.