UPDATED: A woman in her 40s has been charged with failing to care for her 13-year-old daughter after the young teenager was found dead in a cabin in the mountainous area of Valdres on New Year’s Eve. The mother had called for an ambulance, and its crew contacted police.
The mother and daughter are believed to have been living at the cabin after the mother had taken the girl out of school in September. Until that point, the mother and daughter had been living in the valley of Lommedalen in Bærum, west of Oslo.
Norway’s child protective services agency, Barnevernet, had received reports of concern about the mother and daughter but never found grounds to take action against the mother earlier. Police in Valdres had also been sent to the cabin at one point this past autumn, but found no one there and left, according to prosecutor Julie Dalsveen of the new Innland Police District in Gjøvik.
The 13-year-old was declared dead at the scene, but the cause of death was not immediately released. Results of an autopsy were due on Monday and indicated her death was tied to starvation. Ambulance personnel had found the teenager to be suspiciously thin, and she reportedly had a history of eating disorders.
“It was the ambulance team who reacted to the circumstances at the scene in Valdres,” Dalsveen told Norwegian Broacasting (NRK). “They called police, who quickly launched an investigation after their arrival (at the cabin). The mother was charged in her daughter’s death on Friday but the charges weren’t made public until Sunday.
News bureau NTB reported that police believe the mother was negligent and did not care for her daughter’s needs over a lengthy period. The school she had attended in Lommedalen, Mølladammen School, opened its doors on Sunday for other students and staff. “The youngsters have reacted with deep sorrow, like all of us others who received this tragic news this afternoon,” Siv Herikstad of Bærum Township told NRK. “There are many questions.”