German police said Tuesday that two children are in custody on suspicion of murdering a 12-year-old girl found dead earlier this week in the western city of Freudenberg, a case that has shocked the country.
The girl, known only by her first name, Louise, for privacy reasons, went missing on Saturday after meeting a friend. He was found stabbed to death in a forest near a former railway station on Sunday after a massive police search.
Prosecutor Mario Manweiler told reporters that “we must assume that the crime was committed by two children of (the victim’s) acquaintances.”
Police officer Florian Locker said the two suspects, aged 12 and 13, confessed to the murder.
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Citing the suspects’ ages, authorities declined to provide any further details about their identities, genders, motives or whether they knew the victim from school.
Because of their youth, the two children are under the age of criminal liability which is 14 in Germany. So he was not arrested, but taken into the custody of a youth welfare office.
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Police said the victim had multiple stab wounds and died of blood loss.
The governor of North Rhine-Westphalia state, where Freudenberg is located, said he was shocked by the killing.
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“North Rhine-Westphalia is mourning,” said Hendrik Wüst. “It is incomprehensible and intolerable that children are capable of such horrific acts.”
He promised that the authorities would do everything in their power to shed light on the causes and circumstances of the crime.
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