A 15-year-old boy in Kristiansand has confessed to murdering both one of his young acquaintances and a 48-year-old mother of two at a local schoolyard Monday afternoon. The double murder shocked and scared the southern coastal town, and police are confident they’ve arrested the correct assailant.
Police both in Kristiansand and from the state crime unit Kripos had given the case the highest priority after initially claiming they were baffled by it. There was no known connection between the two victims who were found stabbed outside the Wilds Minne elementary school in the city’s Lund area.
An intense investigation that lasted through the night on Monday and late into Tuesday resulted in the arrest Tuesday night of the 15-year-old. He was said to be among the 14-year-old victim Jakob Abdullahi Hassan’s circle of friends and acquaintances.
Police announced Wednesday morning that the teenager now in custody has since given a detailed account of what happened at around 4pm Monday, and confessed to stabbing two people. Hassan and 48-year-old Tone Ilebekk both died of their stab wounds at a local hospital after their bodies had been found.
“We believe this account,” Terje Skaar told reporters at a press conference Wednesday morning. He said the 15-year-old would be subject to a custody hearing later in the day and that a defense attorney had been appointed to represent him. Police declined to go into further detail about the teenager’s confession, and said he had been turned over to health care personnel.
Skaar called the arrest “a result of an extremely extensive investigation during the first 30 hours following the murders.” He noted that there was no known relation between the arrested 15-year-old and Ilebekk, who worked and lived in the area and reportedly was out walking her dog at the time of the murders.
News bureau NTB had reported earlier that police had retrieved the mobile telephones of both victims and knew that Hassan, who lived and went to school on the other side of the city, had taken a bus from downtown Kristiansand to the Lund area at 3:30pm on Monday. Police were unsure at the time of the purpose of Hassan’s trip across town.
Skaar also had said that many people had responded to investigators’ calls for tips and information from anyone who’d been in the area or knew the victims. “We took in many tips during the course of the day (on Tuesday) and received interesting information and concrete leads thanks to the tips from the public,” Skaar told NTB.
The murders had spread fear, not least while the killer was still at large. Speculation was already flying that Hassan may have been attacked and that Ilebekk, who worked in a children’s day care center and was called a “children’s advocate” by mourning colleagues, perhaps had intervened. Ilebekk was married with two grown children, and an attorney appointed to assist the family said they were in a state of shock and depair.
Friends and schoolmates of Hassan gathered for memorial services at their school and a local church on Tuesday. They described him as a “kind and friendly” boy: “Everyone knew Jakob, most everyone just really liked him a lot,” one friend told local newspaper Fædrelandsvennen. Another called his murder a shock as well: “I can’t believe anyone would want to hurt him.”