Police track student murder suspect

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Police in Budapest are searching for the ex-boyfriend of a Norwegian student who was murdered in her room at a students’ housing complex over the weekend. The murder has grabbed wide media coverage in Norway.

Norwegian web sites, newspapers and broadcast outlets carried ongoing coverage of the murder of 21-year-old Pernille Marie Thronsen of Oslo. She’s believed to have been killed just hours after returning to Budapest to begin veterinary studies at a local university.

She had already spent a year in Budapest, taking part in a vet school preparation program at the local International College. She had been accepted into the veterinary medicine program and was supposed to register for her new veterinary studies on Monday.

On Sunday evening, however, staff at the student hostel where she was to live temporarily found her body and a murder investigation was launched.

The prime suspect is Thronsen’s former boyfriend, who is himself Chinese, according to Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet. He disappeared after posting a message on her Facebook page that, according to TV2 in Norway, stated that when he dies, he hoped they would meet and “be together again.”

Hungarian media have reported that police have boosted controls at airports and border crossing, and police told newspaper Magyar Hirlap that if the suspect is still in Hungary, they will find him.

The same paper reported that although Thronsen initially appeared to have been strangled, she was instead killed with a knife. Police told the paper that there were no signs of sexual assault and nothing appeared stolen from her room.

Thronsen was described as a good student who was interested in music and sang in a choir. “She was intelligent and dedicated,” Laszlo Bulyovszky of the International College told newspaper Aftenposten. “Norway can be proud of her.”

More than 300 Norwegians are studying in Budapest and the community was shaken by the murder, prompting a Norwegian pastor to travel to Budapest to offer support. “This is just tragic and very sad,” said Marte Alsos Sørensen of the Association of Norwegian Students Abroad (ANSA). “The students’ community in Budapest is solid, though, and it’s safe to be here.”

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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