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CRIME

‘Kidnapped’ French teen found in car boot

A 15-year-old girl whose disappearance from her home in southern France sparked a nationwide hunt has been found alive in the boot of a car in Germany, police said on Friday.

'Kidnapped' French teen found in car boot
Photo: Private

Chloe Rodriguez was discovered by German police near Offenburg, southwestern Germany, close to the French border, during a routine check of a car.

The driver, who came from the same region as the girl and was wanted for robbery in Germany, was arrested, a French police spokesman said.

The girl was taken to hospital but initial indications suggested she had not been harmed.

She had been missing since November 9, when she left her friend’s home on a moped and failed to return. Her parents alerted the police that night, and they found her moped near the friend’s house, with all her personal effects in it except her helmet and mobile phone.

Officers and volunteers then spent five days searching an area of 16 square kilometres around Barjac. Divers were also called in to search local ponds and lakes. Officers also interviewed a number of the girl’s friends and relatives.

Chloe’s mother has revealed that her daughter may have been in a state of emotional distress at the time of her disappearance.

Local police expect to open an investigation into a suspected kidnapping following the recovery of the girl – and have demanded the extradition of the man from Germany.

AFP/DAPD/The Local/bk

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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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