Police have leads in lynching probe

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UPDATED: Swedish police have said they have some firm leads in what they’re calling the attempted murder of an 11-year-old Norwegian boy, by hanging, at a campground in the border town of Charlottenberg during the weekend. They later refused to disclose more information about the case, while news site VG Nett reports police have identified two suspects, both minors themselves.

A passerby’s discovery of the Norwegian boy tied to a tree, valiantly trying to stand on his tiptoes to prevent the rope around his neck from strangling him, shocked police and others in the otherwise tranquil town during the Easter holidays.

Had gone out to play
The boy was found by another Norwegian, a man staying at the campground with his own family. “I had been out looking for my own son, when I walked past the tree,” Stig Engebretsen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “I saw the boy was standing on his toes with something around his head, and when I came closer, I saw it was a rope around his neck.”

The boy has told police that he’d gone out to play Friday evening, when one or more persons grabbed him from behind and put a noose around his neck, which they then tied to the tree before leaving him. It’s believed he was fastened to the tree for around 10 minutes before Engebretsen found him.

After listening to the boy’s story, and Engebretsen’s description, Swedish police have classified the case as attempted murder by hanging. A full investigation was launched immediately, and Per-Arne Eriksson of the Värmlands Police told NRK they have several tips and concrete leads.

“We’re working after certain leads but we don’t want to make any further comments at this time,” Eriksson told NRK.

Treated and released
VG Nett reported that the boy, who was spending the Easter holiday with his grandparents at the Haganäset campground in Charlottenberg, is from nearby Kongsvinger in Norway. He suffered a sore threat and severe rope burns around his neck but was released from hospital and traveled home.

Pernilla Palm, police investigations leader, told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that one of the boy’s attackers may have been wearing a white jacket and white trousers. She described the incident as “frightening” and indicated that it easily could have turned fatal.

VG Nett reported Tuesday that two boys under the age of 15 have emerged as suspects in the case. Both suspects are also believed to be Norwegian, but police had no immediate comment.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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