Murder suspect arrested 25 years on
18 September 2013, 11:03
Berlin - German police have arrested a man on suspicion of killing a young girl more than 25 years ago, on the basis of DNA evidence, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
In November 1987, nine-year-old blonde Christina was found sexually assaulted and strangled in the western city of Osnabrueck.
"The girl did not hear her alarm clock, which is why she left late for school without the friends she usually walked with," public prosecutor Alexander Retemeyer told AFP.
"She took a shortcut crossing through a garden where it was a bit dark. That is where she encountered a 19-year-old man."
The young man tried to rape her and when the girl threatened to tell her mother, he strangled her, the prosecutor said.
The victim's clothes were sealed and stored and particles of the killer's skin were removed.
"With scientific progress in the meantime, it was possible to isolate DNA and the case was featured on the television show Aktenzeichen XY [about unsolved crimes], which led us to tips about a suspect" from a viewer, Retemeyer said.
"The suspect was ordered to provide a DNA sample, which matched what we had. He was arrested on Sunday morning and confessed on Sunday afternoon."
The man, now 45 and identified only by his first name Thomas, was remanded in custody on a charge of murder to cover up a crime.
"The special charge is important because the statute of limitations on a killing alone has run out," Retemeyer said.
Retemeyer said Thomas did not know his victim and came upon her by chance.
He is now married and lives in Osnabrueck. Retemeyer said there was no evidence at this point that he had committed other crimes.