A 39-year-old man confessed in a court in Berlin on Thursday that he had murdered a Norwegian woman in the German capital last summer. He and an accomplice went on trial this week, 14 months after the woman’s body was found stuffed into a suitcase in a local park.
Lene Sand, from Mandal in southern Norway, had been stabbed seven times in a murder described by German media as “grotesque.” Newspaper Aftenposten reported that the defendants allegedly hid her body behind cases of beer at a local artists’ pub in Berlin’s Wedding district and left it there for several days in June of last year. Prosecutors claimed they later stuffed Sand’s body into the suitcase and then transported it several stops on a local train before dumping it in the River Spree near Treptower Park.
Even though they allegedly attached the suitcase to a concrete block to further weigh it down, it eventually floated to the surface and passersby summoned police.
Aftenposten, covering the trial in Berlin, reported that the main defendant claimed he “lost control” and killed Sand after she allegedly “provoked and insulted” him. He later fled Germany but was arrested in Mexico and extradited back to Berlin. He apologized to Sand’s family and now faces a lengthy prison term unless he’s found to have been mentally unbalanced at the time of the murder. He reportedly had a history of psychiatric ailments and drug abuse.