Tuesday 21 November 2017

Manhunt for teen who killed boy (9) in online video clip

Missing: Martin Hesse. Photo: Polizei Bochum via AP
Missing: Martin Hesse. Photo: Polizei Bochum via AP

Frank Jordans in Berlin

German police launched a major manhunt yesterday for a 19-year-old man suspected of killing a nine-year-old boy, then posting a photo and video of the slain child and boasting about his crime online.

A spokesman for police in the western city of Bochum said authorities got a call late on Monday night from a member of the public, who feared that a killing had taken place in the nearby town of Herne.

Officers searching the basement of a house found the boy’s body, police spokesman Volker Schuette said. The victim and the suspect were neighbours, he added.

The suspect, identified by police as Marcel Hesse, appeared to be gloating next to the victim’s bloodied body in a photo and video circulating on the so-called darknet – an area of cyberspace that’s invisible on the open internet and used by some for illegal activity.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s top security official, Interior Minister Ralf Jaeger, said

the images “left even the investigators stunned”. Hesse was clearly identifiable, standing with bloody hands next to his victim, police said.

The photo had since appeared on regular social networking sites, Mr Schuette said.

Police were using helicopters and sniffer dogs to search for Hesse, who is unemployed and had no previous criminal record.

They said Hesse knew martial arts and could be armed and dangerous.

Authorities warned the public not to approach the teen, but instead to call police if they believe they’ve seen him.

The suspect was described as being thin, of average height, with short blond hair and glasses, and wearing clothes with a camouflage pattern.

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