"My daughter was just found dead. The search is over." On Thursday evening, Christina R.'s worst fears became a sad certainty. A few hours earlier she had published a desperate appeal on Facebook asking for help in finding Marie Sophie. She was reported missing on Wednesday. The discovery of a girl's body on Thursday afternoon in a barn, less than a kilometer from the girl's home, dashed all of the mother's hopes. Marie Sophie is dead, murdered when she was just 14 years old (the star reported).
"A man was making wood and discovered the young woman's body in a group of trees on the edge of a field outside the village and there in the area of a wood pile," said the police and public prosecutor's office. Less than two hours after the body was found, investigators arrested a suspect: a 20-year-old from the victim's circle of friends. He is now in custody “on strong suspicion of murder.”
For Christina R. the arrest was no surprise. “I immediately said who it was,” she said in an interview with RTL. “The person was still communicating with us the whole time and actually wanted to help us,” she said. His behavior was conspicuous.
The 20-year-old's behavior apparently also put investigators on the trail of the suspect. He is said to have been observed near where the body was later found and was questioned by the police while they were searching for Marie Sophie. “His statements at the time made him the focus of the investigation after the body was found,” the officials explained. A search then confirmed the initial suspicion. The suspect had the dead woman's cell phone with him, and other evidence was also seized. The public prosecutor's office and police did not provide further details about the investigation.
It is also not known whether the suspect has already commented on the allegations and a possible motive for the murder of the 14-year-old. Marie Sophie's mother expressed her suspicions on RTL: "He was just obsessed with her." Actually, her daughter and the suspect should not have had any contact. The crime could have been prevented, said Christina R. and then turned away.
The investigation into the case continued two days after the body was found, a police spokesman told the DPA news agency on Saturday morning. Among other things, it should be clarified how exactly Marie Sophie was killed. But even after the autopsy of the body, the authorities remained tight-lipped, only stating that "the 14-year-old was the victim of a violent act."
In Bad Emstal, a tranquil health resort with 6,000 residents around 20 kilometers from Kassel, there is great horror at the murder. "It's terrible. The whole village is horrified that something like this is happening here," a walker told the DPA on Friday.
Stefan Frankfurth, the mayor of the community, wrote: "It is an event that severely shocks a community like ours." The sympathy of the population can be felt everywhere. A family celebration in the town was canceled due to the crime. Instead, the Bad Emstal-Sand Evangelical Church Community opened its doors “to provide a space for silence, prayer and conversation.” A book of condolence was on display and candles were lit. “Something terrible” happened. A funeral service is planned for Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, at the site where the body was found and at the comprehensive school that Marie Sophie attended, the huge sympathy for the girl's death is visible. A sea of candles, flowers, cuddly toys. Many mourners have left personal messages. "Rest in peace. You will always be loved and never forgotten."
Christina R. spoke up again on Facebook on Saturday afternoon in her sadness and despair. "Just come home, my child!"
Sources: North Hesse Police Headquarters, RTL, Stefan Frankfurth, Evangelical Church Community Bad Emstal-Sand, Christina R. on Facebook, DPA news agency
Transparency note: Der stern is part of RTL Deutschland.