An 11-year-old boy is suspected of being involved in the death of a 10-year-old girl at a children’s nursing home in Germany, police said.
The girl was found dead in her room at a child and youth protection center in Wunsiedel, in the German region of Bavaria, on Tuesday.
Evidence collected at the crime scene “points to the involvement of an 11-year-old boy” staying at the same facility, local police and prosecutors said in a joint statement.
“As the 11-year-old boy is under the age of criminal responsibility, he has been placed in a secure facility as a preventive measure.”
It remains unclear how the girl died, although a police spokesperson told German media she suffered a “violent” death.
The case comes as Germany is still reeling from the murder of 12-year-old Luise Frisch, who was found dead in the western town of Freudenberg last month after suffering multiple stab wounds.
Two schoolgirls, aged 12 and 13, confessed to the murder.
Ulrike Scharf (3rd from right, CSU), Minister of State for Family Affairs, Labor and Social Affairs, leaves the child and youth care center with Martin Schöffel (M, CSU), member of the Bavarian state parliament, to lay flowers in front of the establishment
Ulrike Scharf, Minister Delegate for Family, Labor and Social Affairs, pays tribute to a young girl killed in a nursery in Bavaria
A police patrol car blocks the road leading to the CPE
Ulrike Scharf, Minister of State for Family, Labor and Social Affairs, gives a speech outside the child and youth care center where a 10-year-old girl was found dead
Police and prosecutors declined to give further details about the Wunsiedel case, but said the boy had not yet been interviewed.
They added that they were coordinating closely with local youth authorities.
Bavaria’s regional interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, praised investigators for identifying a suspect so quickly.
“It is thanks to meticulous and very committed investigations that a person implicated in the crime could be identified in a relatively short time.
“What is important now is to clarify the exact circumstances of this tragedy,” he said.
The child and youth protection center in the small town of Wunsiedel, which houses around 90 children and adolescents, said it was “deeply shocked” by the girl’s death.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with parents, family, our children and our colleagues,” he said in a statement.
On its website, the institute describes itself as supporting “young people and their families who need help with their education”.
Inquiries into the girl’s death will continue unhindered through the Easter weekend, a police spokeswoman said on Friday.
Less than a month ago, the town of Freudenberg, near Cologne, was rocked when 12-year-old Luise Frisch was found dead after going missing after a play date.
His killers, named Luisa Halberstadt, 13, and Anna-Marie Hoffman, 12, stabbed their victim 32 times with a nail file before pushing her down a steep embankment in nearby woods.
A new photo of Luise has been released with her date of birth – August 29, 2010 – and death – March 12, 2023 – also given
Flowers and candles placed near the scene where Luise’s body was discovered
The 13-year-old suspect also posted a video on TikTok showing herself dancing just hours after Luise’s body was discovered
The classmates also put a plastic bag over Luise’s head before one coldly told the other to ‘hit her with a rock or she’d be lying next to her’.
Both men have confessed to the crime but will avoid punishment as they are too young to bear criminal responsibility in Germany.
Police fear Luise was alive before she was thrown onto the embankment and died from her injuries and the negative conditions that hit the area in early March.
An investigative source told MailOnline: ‘The act itself was terrible. Experienced officers who have been involved in numerous homicide cases were shocked by the killing.
“Not only by the age of the victim, but also by the age of the suspects – the murder weapon has not yet been found and although initially we thought it might be a knife, we now suspect it might be a nail file.”
Officers urged people not to share the suspects’ identities on social media in the wake of the attacks, but their pleas fell on deaf ears.
Photos of the girls with the word ‘killer’ have circulated on various sites as outrage grows that the two will escape justice because they are under the age of criminal responsibility in Germany, who is 14 years old.
A petition calling for the law to be changed has collected hundreds of thousands of signatures.
Death threats were also made online against the girls and they and their families were moved from their homes in the sleepy village of Freudenberg.
Police have been forced to park patrol cars outside suspects’ homes to discourage enraged citizens from damaging properties and the families are unlikely to ever return.
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