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'Child killer' told cops he was paedophile
Werner Brandt, head of the murder commission. Photo: DPA

'Child killer' told cops he was paedophile

Published: 04 Apr 2012 10:00 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Apr 2012 14:11 GMT+02:00

The young man accused of sexually abusing and killing a young girl in northern Germany turned himself in to police four months ago for undressing and photographing a seven-year-old girl – but nothing was done.

The 18-year-old man visited police in the small northern town of Emden with his psychologist back in November 2011 to report himself. His stepfather had reported him to the police two months earlier for possession of child pornography.

His mother had discovered him as he took photos of the young girl, and he then spent two months in psychological treatment.

But although police planned to visit his home at the end of the year, officials never got around to it, they admitted in a press conference on Tuesday.

Criticism was immediate and harsh, with Rudolf Egg, director of the national centre for criminology, saying the man should not have been ignored. “In the interest of victim protection, one cannot let someone like that simply go,” he told TV show Tagesthemen on state broadcaster ARD.

Not only did police fail to act on the information he volunteered, they arrested a different teenager after 11-year-old Lena was found dead in a car park in Emden.

Enough information was released about the innocent boy that locals identified him, he faced online threats of violence, and fled the small town.

On Tuesday Friedo de Vries, a deputy police chief from Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, said the 18-year-old had not only admitted killing Lena, but that he had been known to police since last September, when he was reported for owning child porn, Der Spiegel reported.

Two months later the man officially reported himself to the police, admitting that he had taken pictures of naked girls, and owned child porn.

He said that he was actively trying to combat his paedophilic tendencies and was seeking treatment. His approach to the police was intended to draw a line under his problem.

But though a decision was made to go and search the man’s flat, this was never done, de Vries admitted. He said an internal investigation would now be undertaken. “Simply the fact that this could happen is so serious that I want it explained immediately,” he said.

Police divers have been searching local ditches for evidence in the Lena killing, though police would not say what they are looking for.

They did say that they had found evidence in the suspect's flat that linked him to the car park where the 11-year-old’s body was found. They also found evidence linking him to an attempted rape last November.

The Local/DPA/DAPD/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:35 April 4, 2012 by The-ex-pat
On the other hand, had he confessed to not paying his tax last year, he would already be doing 15 years!!!!
11:47 April 4, 2012 by MaKo
Unbelievable. Makes you wonder who else might be prowling the streets, uninvestigated. Germany must do better by these children.
14:23 April 4, 2012 by Gerd1965
I would call those dumb-ass bumbkin cops in my native language "Torf-Spacken". Go to the "Baumschule" and learn a job that fits to you.
20:13 April 4, 2012 by joysonabraham
I think the fact that the police admitted their own mistakes is very much a good confidence builder. This shows they understand and introspect. You cant see something like this anywhere else in the world. If this happened in some other country, may be the first guy go in and they stop investigation or they put the second guy in jail without revealing the whole facts.
13:10 April 6, 2012 by raandy
Keystone cops again, What a totally botched investigation and arrest of an innocent teen. Shameful.
23:11 April 10, 2012 by ahard402
If that was my daughter i beat him to death, i would break some minor law just to get put in the same jail as him,,i dont know if germany has the death sentence like here in the USA,but that child raper needs to die...
15:45 May 1, 2012 by Bruno53
Tthings haven't changed much since Fritz Lang did his controversial 1931 classic "M" of a sexaully maladjusted child killer.
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