Murder suspect arrested in Rome

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A man suspected of killing the 17-year-old mother of his child and then taking the child with him while fleeing Norwegian authorities was arrested on Sunday in Rome. His two-year-old daughter was said to be found unharmed.

Police in West Oppland said Sunday that the man was arrested by Italian police at a café in Rome, after he’d spent the past four days on a bus and trains from Norway through Sweden to Copenhagen, Hamburg and on to Italy.

Toddler found uninjured
Linn Hilde Follo of the West Oppland Police District told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that that the two-year-old daughter of the murdered 17-year-old and the murder suspect, both from Afghanistan, were “safe,” and “we have have no evidence” that the child “has been harmed in any way.” Follo said that Norwegian police officers were on their way to Rome to question the murder suspect and escort the child back to Norway.

This was the photo of the little two-year-old girl released by Norwegian police after she disappeared following her mother's murder. PHOTO: Politiet

This was the photo of the two-year-old girl released by Norwegian police after she disappeared following her mother’s murder. She was found unharmed on Sunday in Rome. PHOTO: Politiet

She’ll likely be placed in the care of juvenile authorities (Barnevernet) upon her return, since her mother is dead and her father in custody. The mother reportedly has relatives in Norway, but arrived in the country as a refugee from Afghanistan in March.

The murder victim had sought asylum on behalf of herself and her daughter and already had been granted residence in Norway since she was a single mother. She and her daughter had been living at an asylum center in Vest-Agder County, southern Norway, but she obtained leave last week to visit relatives in the small community of Grua in Lunner township, Oppland County.

While there, the father of her child with whom she reportedly had fled Afghanistan turned up after they’d reportedly been separated during their flight. She was later found stabbed to death in her relatives’ home in Grua and her daughter was missing along with the man, who was the chief suspect.

‘Complicated’ case
Police called the case “complicated” from the start. They said they had no information of any conflict between the murder suspect and the 17-year-old, who reportedly was fleeing a forced marriage to an older man.

It remained unclear what would happen to the little girl, while the man, her father, was expected to be subject to extradition orders back to Norway. “We are very, very glad that we have control over the situation now, especially concerning the two-year-old girl,” Fosso told NRK.

She expressed thanks for all the tips that came in from the public both in Norway and along the suspect’s path through Europe. She said he “would get all possibilities” to explain himself to Norwegian police, “and we will continue intense investigation of this case.”

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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