Police warn public against suspect

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UPDATED: Police were warning the public on Monday against taking any contact with a 23-year-old man suspected of murdering his stepfather, age 58, late last week. Remains of the murder victim’s body were found in a smoldering outdoor fire near the popular ski resort of Hafjell.

Police issued this photo of the murder suspect, but warned the public against having contact with him. PHOTO: Politiet

Police issued this photo of the murder suspect, but warned the public against having contact with him. PHOTO: Politiet

The grisly discovery has led to an arrest warrant for the man’s stepson, Kim Andreas Kristiansen, who disappeared after police were alerted to the fire at midday on Thursday. It’s highly unusual for the police and the Norwegian media to identify criminal suspects before they’re convicted, but the police and several media outlets have made an exception in this case.

Kristiansen has been charged with the murder of his stepfather Bjarte Hansen in the municipality of Øyer, Oppland County, and police describe the case as “especially serious” given its brutality.

“For one thing, this is an especially serious case,” Bjørn Egil Bergundhaugen, chief of police in Lillehammer, told state broadcaster NRK. “For another thing, we have not managed to obtain any form of contact with the suspect.” In a press release issued Monday, police said they also couldn’t rule out that the suspect is “unstable.” The public “is therefore urged not to take contact or try to find the suspect on their own.”

Bergundhaugen’s remarks came just as police in Lillehammer were conducting an armed search of a forest area at Solhøgda in Lillehammer, the site of some old German bunkers constructed during World War II. It’s also unusual for Norwegian police to be armed. The search ended with no results.

Bergundhaugen stressed that “we advise the public to exercise extreme caution” if they encounter the murder suspect, who was described as being 164 centimeters tall, with a “sturdy build,” short blond hair and often using dark-rimmed glasses. He also has tattoos on his right arm, breast and left leg and arrest warrants were out for him in Norway and abroad.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund