German police widen nursery ‘murder’ probe as other cases emerge

German police widen nursery 'murder' probe as other cases emerge
A stone with the words 'you are always in our hearts' outside the Kita in Viersen. Photo: DPA
German police investigating the death of a child at a kindergarten said Thursday they were widening a probe against a teacher after similar near-fatal incidents were uncovered at her previous workplaces.

A 25-year-old teacher at the kindergarten in the western town of Viersen near Düsseldorf in North Rhine-Westphalia was arrested on suspicion of murder after three-year-old Greta died from respiratory failure on May 4th.

Lead investigator Guido Rosskamp said the probe into three other kindergartens where the 25-year-old had worked found “to their horror that there were similar incidents” at each of the facilities.

Asked about the suspect, her previous employers or colleagues have wondered “why such a person who lacks empathy with children would want to take on such a job,” added the investigator.

A first assault may have been committed in November 2017 against a three-year-old boy, said investigators.

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The suspect had informed her colleagues then that there was something wrong with the child.

In that case and other incidents, the children were found unconscious, with first-aid workers reporting that their eyes were already rolled upwards, investigators said.

Separately, criminal police had also had the suspect on their file as she had in May 2019 falsely accused a man of inflicting cuts on her face with a knife.

A forensic specialist had found subsequently that the suspect was responsible for the injuries, leading the authorities to recommend psychiatric help for her.


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