Kidnappers give up body of 17-year-old victim

Police confirmed on Tuesday that the 17-year-old daughter of a Saxon businessman was found dead near Meißen after being kidnapped and held for ransom last week.

Kidnappers give up body of 17-year-old victim
A photo of Anneli, who police confirmed had been found dead in a case that has shaken the country. Photo: DPA.

Two men aged 39 and 61 were arrested on Monday as suspects of the crime and faced a court hearing on Tuesday.

Anneli Marie R. went missing on Thursday evening after she was last seen going out for a bicycle ride with her dog, police said.

“All hopes and prayers have not been fulfilled,” said Dresden police chief Dieter Kroll at a press conference on Tuesday. “We express our utmost sympathy and sorrow to the family.”

Police said that two men forced the teen to get into their car on Thursday.

The kidnappers later used her cellphone to call her father, who police said was a businessman well-known in the community, and demanded a ransom of €1.2 million.

Police explained that because of the family's prominence, they believed at least one of the kidnappers knew what she looked like before the crime, from seeing her in town or looking on Facebook.

Police said the perpetrators most likely killed Anneli as a way to conceal their crime, for fear that she would be able to identify them if she were released since they had not worn masks.

Investigators said that she was probably killed as soon as Friday. When the kidnappers called the parents again on that day, the perpetrators refused to offer proof that she was still alive.

Friday was the last that the parents heard from the kidnappers.

Investigators were able on Sunday to identify one of the men, who had a criminal record, through traces of his DNA left on her bicycle discovered after she went missing.

After this finding, officers made the investigation public and the parents wrote an open letter to the kidnappers.

Officers said they also used cell phone-tracking to locate one of the men in Dresden. The second man was arrested in Bamberg, Bavaria. One of the suspects ultimately told investigators the location of her body.

Anneli's cause of death has still not been determined, pending a forensics investigation.


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.