Bavaria: The case of the dead ten-year-old in Wunsiedel: What we know and what we don't

Police and public prosecutors are holding back in the case of the dead girl from Wunsiedel.

Bavaria: The case of the dead ten-year-old in Wunsiedel: What we know and what we don't

Police and public prosecutors are holding back in the case of the dead girl from Wunsiedel. No big press conference, just brief announcements. Based on the evidence, the investigators assume that an eleven-year-old boy who, like the victim, lived in a child and youth welfare facility, was involved. Many questions are still open.

The location of the event: The child and youth welfare facility is in the middle of Wunsiedel, almost hidden in a side street next to the Catholic church. Almost 90 children and young people find space here, many from "difficult circumstances", as Bavaria's Family and Social Affairs Minister Ulrike Scharf (CSU) describes it. Almost as many employees take care of them. At the time of the crime, there were significantly fewer children and young people in the facility, many went to a ski camp during the Easter holidays, others to their parents.

The victim: The ten-year-old girl was found in her room on Tuesday during Holy Week. An emergency medical team can only determine the death of the child. The public prosecutor's office later ruled out an accident or a medical problem as the cause of death. A homicide is assumed.

The investigations: For more than 24 hours, the police and public prosecutors manage to initiate the first steps of the investigation without the public noticing anything. The media will not be informed until late Wednesday morning. A squad of around 40 criminalists secures evidence, interviews witnesses and tries to shed light on this case. A spokesman for the public prosecutor assures that because the witnesses also include many children and young people, the procedure is particularly sensitive.

The traces: On Good Friday the fog clears a bit. According to the police, traces found and their evaluation allow the conclusion that an eleven-year-old was involved in the crime.

The city: Wunsiedel has around 9200 inhabitants - a town in north-eastern Bavaria, situated in the idyllic Fichtelgebirge. The victim, however, is unlikely to have been personally known there, the child and youth welfare center seems like its own little world in the city. The shock is still great, flowers and candles are placed near the facility. "I am deeply shocked by the tragic death of the girl. My sympathy goes to those affected, the family, the other children in the home and the staff," says Mayor Nicolas Lahovnik.

The course of the crime: what exactly happened to the girl? How did it die? The police and prosecutors do not want to say anything about it. They classify a sexual offense as unlikely on Maundy Thursday.

The motive: The investigators are also silent on a motive.

Other participants in the crime: It is unclear whether there may be or are other parties involved in the crime. On Wednesday, security circles said that two eleven-year-olds and a 16-year-old were in focus.

The other children: How are the other children in the facility? Minister Scharf praises the house for the refurbishment and for giving the other young residents security. The facility announced at the weekend that the children were offered as much normality as possible, and that there were many discussions.

Family background: The authorities do not provide any information on this either – with regard to the age of the victim and also the age of the boy who is considered to be involved. Officially, it is not known why they were housed in the facility, whether they came from the vicinity of Wunsiedel, or whether they were in contact with family members.

How things will continue for the eleven-year-old: As a preventive measure, he is housed in a secure facility, they say. One thing is certain: as an eleven-year-old, he is not criminally responsible. It is unclear whether he says or has said anything about the crime. All further steps will be coordinated with the youth authorities, emphasize the police and public prosecutor.

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