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Doubts over NSU involvement in child murder case

October 27, 2016

Media reports have called into question Uwe Böhnhardt's involvement in the murder of 9-year-old Peggy K. The late alleged neo-Nazi was linked to the girl's unsolved murder after his DNA was recovered near her remains.

Site of Peggy's remains
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Fricke

New information reported by German media on Thursday suggested that DNA from Uwe Böhnhardt, a deceased alleged member of the neo-Nazi group National Socialist Underground (NSU), might have been inadvertently transferred to the site where the girl's remains were found.

The discovery earlier this month of Böhnhardt's DNA on a piece of cloth at the crime scene had the potential to open a sensational new chapter in the case of Peggy K., who disappeared without a trace in 2001. The girl's skeletal remains were discovered in July.

Böhnhardt and the NSU have been tied to the killings of mostly foreigners in Germany between 2000 and 2007. The cell's sole surviving member, Beate Zschäpe, is currently on trial in Munich.

The discovery of Böhnhardt's DNA confounded police at the time, but reports by regional public broadcasters Bayerischer Rundfunk and Südwestrundfunk suggested that the traces of DNA had been transferred accidentally by investigators at the scene who used equipment that had also been used during NSU investigations.

Authorities to release new info

The prosecutor's office for the Bavarian city of Bayreuth on Thursday said it would re-examine the evidence that initially pointed them to Böhnhardt. It also said the public should not expect quick results from its inquiry.

The case once again became a national sensation this past summer after a man discovered the girl's remains while picking mushrooms in the town of Lichtenberg. Her disappearance had sparked a massive nationwide search, but no clues were ever found as to what happened to her.

Following the discovery of Böhnhardt's DNA, authorities said they would be expanding their investigations and later announced they were reopening another child murder case possibly linked to the neo-Nazi terrorist.

That case involves the murder of 9-year-old Bernd B., whose remains were found in July 1993 near the Saale River. As with Peggy, police were unable to determine the cause of death.

blc/sms  (dpa, AFP)