Police in Brazil confirmed this week that they have opened an investigation into the death of a former Norwegian handball official at his holiday home on Brazil’s east coast last month. An autopsy report has, reports newspaper VG, raised suspicions over whether his death was caused by an accident.
Niels Hertzberg, longtime former secretary general of Norway’s national handball federation (Norges Håndballforbund), died in his holiday home in Natal from what police were told was a fall from a chair. The body of the 72-year-old Hertzberg, however, showed signs of injury and bruising that police don’t find consistent with such a fall. VG wrote that the autopsy report revealed several internal and external injuries, with the cause of death reported to be trauma to the spine and a stroke.
Hertzberg was married to the highly popular former coach of Norway’s successful women’s national handball team, Marit Breivik. She was not in Brazil when Hertzberg died, but traveled to Natal shortly thereafter.
“We have an idea of what might have happened, but I can’t say anything more,” Karleide Fernandes of the Brazilian police told VG.