A massive police investigation was underway on Tuesday after two people, a 48-year-old woman and a 14-year-old boy with no known connection between them, were found stabbed near a school in Kristiansand late Monday afternoon. The victims, who died a few hours later at a local hospital, were not identified until Tuesday morning.
They are Tone Ilebekk, age 48, and Jakob Abdullahi Hassan, age 14. “We have worked hard (on whether there was a connection between Ilebekk and Hassan) but we have not found any relation,” Terje Kaddeberg Skaar of the Agder Police District said at a press conference in Kristiansand late Tuesday morning.
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Newspaper VG reported that Ilebekk, married and the mother of two children, worked as an assistant at a children’s day care center located close to where the stabbings occurred, on the Lund side of the southern coastal city. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) quoted one of her colleagues as saying that she had worked an early shift at the day care center on Monday. Ilebekk lived in the Lund area and her colleague had been told that she was out walking her dog after work when she was killed.
Hassan both lived and went to school on the other side of Kristiansand, at Fiskå near Vågsbygd. The murders themselves are believed to have taken place outside the Wilds Minne Elementary School at Lund.
Police have no eyewitnesses to the murders, believed to have occurred around 4pm on Monday. The stabbed bodies of both Ilebekk and Hassan were found together at the school.
Details of the double homicide, which rarely occur in Norway, remained sketchy. Police worked through the night, assisted by “all available officers” and backed by investigators from the state police unit Kripos, but no arrests had been made by midday on Tuesday and the killer or killers remained at large.
“We don’t know who the assailant or assailants are, nor do we know of any motive (for the stabbings),” Skaar said. “For the police, it’s an open question what the risk is to the public.”
Skaar repeated calls for any tips or information from the public that could aid the murder investigation. “We want information from everyone who knew the two murder victims,” Skaar said. “We want to chart their movements as much as we possibly can.”
VG reported that police have already questioned at least 10 people during the night and the course of the morning. “We have also received many tips that we worked with during the night and we have conducted questioning at the scene of the crime,” Skaar noted, repeating another call that anyone who was in the vicinity of the Wilds Minne school contact police as well. “It’s important for us to chart all movements in the area,” he said.
The younger victim, Hassan, was in the ninth grade at the Fiskå junior high school in Kristiansand, which assembled students for a memorial Tuesday morning. The boy’s family situation remained unclear, but the school issued a statement announcing the “tragic incident” and mentioned that Hassan’s family had “lost a son and a brother.” Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Tuesday that five friends of the 14-year-old were among those questioned by police during the night.
Police wouldn’t reveal whether any weapon had been found. The Wilds Minne school has 380 students, around 100 of whom also attend its after-school program that functions as a form of day care for older children. The program was still underway at the time of the murders yet neither the children nor employees at the school witnessed the murders. Both the day care center where Ilebekk worked and the Wilds Minne school were closed on Tuesday. Crisis teams were set up to assist day care center workers and the families involved.