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Police 'capture escaped murderer in Cologne'

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Police 'capture escaped murderer in Cologne'
Detlef Witte, on the run from police in Bonn. Photo:DPA
11:55 CEST+02:00
Local journalists are reporting police in Cologne have caught a murderer who escaped from jail on Tuesday. The man had been described as “highly dangerous.”

Bild reporter Michael Engelberg has tweeted that police have captured the fugitive, Detlef Witte, in Cologne. 

Unitl recently the only trace of the murderer police made public were his discarded prison clothes found in a container in Industriestraße in Rheinbach. By Wednesday midday they were no closer to capturing the dangerous fugitive, telling The Local that no new clues had been found.

The 43-year-old Witte managed to smuggle himself out of the JVA Rheinbach jail in North Rhine-Westphalia in the trailer of a tractor on Tuesday.

The trailer was transporting wood cuttings from the jail's carpentry workshop where Witte worked to an incinerator outside the jail.

At first the daring escape went unnoticed. It was only when the driver of the tractor arrived at the incinerator that he noticed one of the meshed boxes in the trailer was only half full. At the same time authorities at the workshop realised Witte was missing.

Police immediately initiated a manhunt, deploying a helicopter and search dogs to track the fugitive down.

The Rheinische Post reports that Witte was responsible for the murder of his millionaire employer in Cologne in August 2007.

After killing Gattin Jutta Heinmüller, for whom he worked as a gardener, he drove her body to France, where he burned it in a forest.

His motivation was half a million euros he had tried to steal from her. It took the police months to identify the body.

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