Killing in Sankt Augustin

Suspect was allegedly known to police

Die Unterkunft, in der die 17-Jährige gefunden wurde.

The shelter where the 17-year-old was found.

Sankt Augustin. A 19-year-old German Kenyan has confessed to killing the 17-year-old girl from Unkel who had been reported missing since Friday. The man was allegedly known to police and was living as a homeless person in the accommodation where the body was found on Sunday.

The location on the outermost edge of the Menden industrial estate appears quiet, almost abandoned. It is nearly midday but the shutters of the rooms on the ground floor of the city-run accommodation for asylum seekers and homeless people have been left down on this Monday. A few flowers and candles left by strangers at a metal fence in front of it indicate that a short time ago a terrible crime apparently took place inside the shelter.

After a large-scale search on Sunday, police found the body of a young woman in one of the rooms. Investigators’ initial findings are that the 17-year-old woman, who comes from Unkel and attended a school in the Rhine-Sieg district, was killed. The police detained a 19-year-old resident of the accommodation on site. Police said the man was born in Kenya, had a German passport and was living as a homeless person at the shelter. On Monday, the man confessed to killing the 17-year-old. During the afternoon, the magistrate in charge issued an arrest warrant against the 19-year-old for manslaughter. The public prosecutor’s office had initially applied for an arrest warrant for murder, said Bonn’s senior public prosecutor Robin Faßbender.

A large contingent of emergency services personnel in the region searched for the 17-year-old woman on Sunday. Her parents had reported the teenager missing on Friday afternoon. They were unable to give any information on where the young woman might be staying. However, police spokesperson Robert Scholten said police investigations soon restricted the search area for the 17-year-old to the Siegburg and Sankt Augustin area. Emergency personnel were called to Menden at around 5pm on Sunday evening. Walkers had found clothes and a handbag belonging to the young person at the so-called Sieglarer See near Johann-Quadt-Straße.

Suspect did not deny crime

There were a total of around 200 emergency personnel at the scene including 120 firemen. There were also water safety units from the Rhine-Sieg district, ten rescue divers from Bonn and Cologne among other places and police search dogs. The Technische Hilfswerk helped to light the lake. The search lasted more than three hours, during which a fire brigade drone, a thermal imaging camera and a federal police helicopter were used.

The voluntary fire brigade stopped the search at around 8.15pm after consultation with the police. The reason: at this point officers had already found the girl in the local shelter.

“Together with the police in Rhineland-Palatinate, we identified the 19-year-old as a possible point of contact for the missing person,” said police spokesperson Scholten. When the suspect returned to his accommodation during the evening, he told officers who were waiting for him that the young woman was dead in his room, continued the spokesperson for Bonn police. Scholten said the suspect had already admitted to and not disputed the crime in his first interview. The investigations and gathering of evidence of the course and sequence of events continued, however. Among other questions, it was still unclear on Monday how the personal belongings of the victim had got to the pond in Meindorf.

Suspect was known to police

According to the public prosecutor’s office, the 19-year-old said in a further interview that he had met his alleged victim on Friday evening. They had been in a bar together. The 17-year-old woman later accompanied him to the local shelter for refugees and homeless people in Sankt Augustin where he lived. An argument broke out there on Friday night/Saturday morning during which the man became violent. The 17-year-old died. Faßbender did not want to give more precise details of the circumstances of the crime but no weapon was used. The 19-year-old’s statements are now being checked by the police and the public prosecutor’s office.

According to GA information, the 19–year-old has previously appeared several times before police. Officers first investigated the man in 2014 for distribution of pornographic material. Investigations for theft followed and in October 2015 for sexual abuse. Referring to the ongoing investigations, the public prosecutor’s office did not initially confirm that the man now accused of killing the 17-year-old was known to police. There has also been no indication so far of a sexual crime.

Chief public prosecutor Robert Faßbender told the General Anzeiger that the 19-year-old suspect, who has both Kenyan and German nationality, is a resident of the Menden shelter, categorised as a homeless person.  “He was not born in Germany but has lived here since his earliest childhood,” said Faßbender.

(Original text: Hannah Schmidt and Marcel Dörsing / Translation: kc)