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CRIME

Mystery surrounds 11-year-old found tied up in south German vineyard

On Wednesday evening an 11-year-old girl was found unhurt, with her hands tied up with plastic straps in a vineyard in Heilbronn, near Stuttgart.

Mystery surrounds 11-year-old found tied up in south German vineyard
A Stuttgart vineyard. Photo: DPA

The girl claims to have no memory of why she was tied up or how she came to be in the vineyard.

According to the police report, a cyclist found the child lying between two rows of vines at around 7:30 pm and called for help after the girl did not respond to his questions.

Shortly after, walkers who were nearby came to their aid and the girl then began to respond.

The 11-year-old told local authorities that the last thing she could remember was visiting a supermarket before walking towards a nearby bridge through an underpass.

Police are investigating the strange circumstances, but the child is yet to offer up any more information, saying she cannot remember what happened.

A forensic investigation of the plastic used to tie the girl's hands is underway and could provide the necessary clues to solve the mystery.

A representative of the Heilbronn police told the Stuttgarter Nachrichten that there is a possibility the girl carried out this stunt for attention and that the case “should be cleared up fairly quickly”, after further investigation.

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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