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Teenage girl stabbed to death in park in Viersen

June 11, 2018

A man of Turkish descent has turned himself in to German police, following the fatal stabbing of a 15-year-old girl in the town of Viersen. The teenager's body was found in a park in the center of the town.

Symbolfoto Gewalt in Schulen
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/I. Wagner

German police in the town of Viersen, near Düsseldorf, detained a 25-year-old Turkish man suspected of stabbing and killing a teenage girl on Monday.

The alleged attacker was wanted by authorities after he skipped a police check. He subsequently turned himself in to police early Monday evening. 

Police said the suspect was known to the authorities and that any possible link to the knife attack carried out in Viersen's "Casino garden" park were being investigated. It remains unclear what the suspect's relation was to victim.

The victim, a 15-year-old girl from Romania, was taken to hospital but died of her wounds on arrival. It remained unclear whether she was a dual-German national.

She was reported to have told homeless people gathered in the park "I'm dying, I'm dying" in German, collapsing soon afterwards. They then alerted the police.

Herbert Reul, the Interior Minister for the state of North-Rhine Westphalia, said: "What happened today in Viersen is shocking. I am deeply affected by the fact that a young lady was fatally attacked in a public park."

The casino garden

The casino garden is generally considered by locals to be a well-kept park and safe park, according to German tabloid Bild

The area where the victim's body was found, however, is reportedly often frequented by homeless drinkers, but according to eyewitnesses, the teenage girl appeared well-groomed and not to have been drinking. 

Migrant crimes

Authorities had initially stated that they were seeking a man of "North African appearance with glossy black hair."

The far-right Alternative for Germany was quick to flag news of the attack, sarcastically tweeting "another one-off incident," in reference to a murder by an Iraqi last week.

Germany's migration policy and asylum system has once again come under recent scrutiny, following the killing of a 14-year-old Jewish girl by an Iraqi refugee in Wiesbaden.

The suspect, identified only as Ali B. in compliance with Germany's press code, had left Germany with his family around a week after the girl went missing. His application for asylum in Germany had been rejected back in 2016.

Read more: Germany: Politicians seek answers after teenager's murder suspect's flight

He was arrested by officials in northern Iraq last Friday and brought back to Germany the following day. Wiesbaden police said that he had confessed to the crime.

Right-wing critics have pointed out that potentially dangerous migrants with rejected asylum requests can make use of Germany's prolonged appeals process. Such appeals can regularly stretch across a number of years, staving off the threat of deportation and allowing migrants to remain in Germany.

dm/msh (dpa)