Major train delays hit western Germany as police hunt murder suspect

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Major train delays hit western Germany as police hunt murder suspect
A police car in front of the train station in Elze on Friday morning. Photo: DPA

Police are currently hunting for a murder suspect in the town of Elze near Hildesheim, investigators announced on Friday morning, causing train delays throughout western Germany.


The 52-year-old man is said to have brutally killed an acquaintance in Göttingen on Thursday during a dispute in broad daylight. The victim died at the scene of the crime. 

"The man is still on the run. We are currently following a clue that leads to the Elze area [near Hildesheim]," one officer reported, declining to give further details.  

Police in Göttingen asked that anyone with further information report to them.

"Due to police investigations at Elze train station, the station there and the line between Hanover and Göttingen are currently closed,” Deutsche Bahn wrote on its website.

Long-distance train traffic - both for Deutsche Bahn and private railway company Metronom - is particularly affected, especially in the states of Lower Saxony and Hesse. 

However, train traffic heading to as far away as Berlin was also experiencing delays on Friday morning, with several stops closed off and trains rerouted.

Deutsche Bahn has published a complete list of affected trains on its website

A horrendous crime

The suspected murder took place on Thursday around 1 pm. The man reportedly first stabbed his victim, struck her with a fire extinguisher, poured gasoline over her and set her on fire, according to a BILD report.

However, police have not yet confirmed these details.

Witnesses who tried to help the 44-year-old victim were also attacked by the perpetrator, according to police. The investigators published photos of the suspect in two separate statements and warned against approaching him. They assume that he is still armed.

The suspect fled the crime scene on a bike, according to police, after which a helicopter search for him followed. The area around the crime scene in the Grone district of Göttingen was closed off.

Suspect reportedly seen Friday morning

A train near Elze was stopped on Friday morning after a tip from the personnel that the suspect was onboard, according to a police spokeswoman.

"When the officers arrived, he fled the train. The search continues," said the spokeswoman.

The suspect was able to escape from the train after the staff had locked him in a wagon by breaking a window, the Hildesheimer Allgemeine Zeitung reported.

This story was last updated on Friday at 12:15 pm.




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