A 27-year-old Nigerian migrant has been arrested in Switzerland after murdering a 22-year-old asylum home worker in Germany and then fleeing the country.
The Nigerian was arrested Tuesday at a train station in the Swiss city of Bern after a Europe-wide arrest warrant was issued for him after he fled Ahaus where the murder occurred. Chief prosecutor Martin Botzenhardt said, “Only yesterday, the prosecutor’s office ordered the European-wide call for arrest on the basis of the existing national arrest warrant. Today’s arrest of the suspect in Switzerland is a quick success,” Swiss paper Blick reports.
“The prosecutor’s office in Münster has initiated the formal extradition request,” said Botzenhardt. “The murder commission will not question the suspect until after his arrival in Germany.”
According to police, the 27-year-old savagely stabbed his victim, identified as Soopika P., repeatedly in the head, neck and upper body. The young woman was left with no chance of survival.
German tabloid Bild reports Soopika was well known in Ahaus and was popular. One of her friends told the paper, “Many knew her, she was a really nice girl. Because her own family comes from India and she has very good English, she has been involved in refugee aid.”
The motive for the crime was likely sexual desire as authorities noted the asylum seeker had repeatedly tried to get in contact with Soopika. The attraction was not mutual according to one of the victim’s friends who said she had no interest in a relationship as she had just broken up with her boyfriend.
The case of Soopika’s murder is just the latest of a number of murders of women who have worked with asylum seekers. The most famous case in Germany was that of Maria Ledenburger who was raped and killed by a 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker on her way home. Like Soopika, Ladenburger also volunteered her time helping asylum seekers.
A similar murder also occurred in Sweden last year when a Somali migrant stabbed asylum centre worker Alexandra Mezher to death in a home for underage migrants. The asylum seeker turned out not to be underage after police investigated his background leading many to question the methods used by the Swedish government to determine the actual age of migrants.
Austria also saw a migrant murder a woman who was trying to help him last year. An American working as an au pair in Vienna was strangled to death by a Gambian migrant in her apartment after letting him stay there to avoid deportation. He was also captured in Switzerland after fleeing the country.