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Police make arrest in child car park murder

Police have arrested a suspect in the murder of an 11-year-old girl whose body was found in a car park in north-western Germany, after CCTV footage from the scene was released to the public.

Police make arrest in child car park murder
Photo: DPA

Authorities took the unusual step of releasing the images on Tuesday – and made the arrest in the evening after, it was reported, that someone recognised the person in the video.

Police in Emden, Lower Saxony, have not confirmed a report in mass circulation daily Bild that a witness came forward to identify the man seen in the video dressed in dark clothing in the car park.

“We will be working through the investigation calmly, there is no more that we can say,” the spokesman said.

Footage of the man was taken from the car park on Saturday after the body of the girl, identified only as Lena, was discovered by a security guard in a multi-story car park adjacent to a multiplex cinema.

She had gone out with a boy of the same age at 5 p.m. on Saturday to feed ducks. The pair had cycled into the car park, adjacent to a multiplex cinema, between 5:30pm and 7pm. Her body was found some hours later.

“I can say that the crime was sexually motivated,” said police spokesman Brandt on Monday. Police are yet to disclose the exact cause of death, but are treating it as a murder case.

The town of Emden has put up a €10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the attacker. So far 75 people have come forward to the police offering information.

Around 1,500 people from the small town gathered in front of the train station on Monday evening for a minute’s silence.

DPA/The Local/jcw

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CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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