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CRIME

Dead baby found in Weser river was murdered

A newborn found last week in the Weser river in northern Germany did not die of natural causes but was killed after being born, forensic tests have shown.

Dead baby found in Weser river was murdered
A file shot of the Weser river in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo:DPA

Police and the prosecutors‘ office in Bad Oeynhausen in North Rhine-Westphalia reported on Friday that the infant girl’s cause of death was still not known, but that further tests would be done.

The body was found by a fisherman along the bank of the river and investigators believe the child was born between Monday and Thursday of last week. It is thought that she was thrown into the river in the town of Rinteln, Vlotho, Bad Oeynhausen or Porta Westfalica.

Thus far, investigators have no solid leads as to the identity of the mother. Police are looking for people who might know of a woman who was recently pregnant but who now does not have a newborn.

Germany has been plagued with a spate of gruesome infanticide cases in the last few years which have shocked the country. One woman who killed nine of her babies was sentenced to 15 years in prison in early April.

In May, a 44-year-old woman was arrested when her family found three dead babies in her freezer near Bonn.

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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