A 17-year-old boy from the small town of Varhaug on Norway’s West Coast has admitted to killing a 13-year-old girl in the same small town. He now claims she was a random victim.
The murder of 13-year-old Sunniva Ødegård shocked the small town and left Ødegård’s parents desperate to know who killed their daughter, and why, as they prepared for her funeral on Friday. Her body was found at around 3am on the morning of Monday July 30, after her father launched a search when she failed to return home from a visit to a friend on Sunday evening the 29th.
Police said at a press conference Thursday afternoon that the confession from the teenage boy, who had initially denied killing Sunniva Ødegård, came after three days of questioning that began on Tuesday. “He has stated that the use of a blunt instrument was involved,” Lars Ole Berge, police inspector for the Sør-Vest (Southwest) Police District, told reporters. He said police now must work to verify this confession.
Ødegård was apparently attacked and beaten at two places, one of them a set of stone stairs adjacent to a home at Åvegen 20 in Varhaug. Her body was then moved to the location where it was found, on a pathway near her own home. Police believe they have recovered the murder weapon and that the 17-year-old acted alone.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that police were still working on charting any relations between the 17-year-old and the murder victim, and whether there are other motives for the crime. The local court has also appointed psychiatrists to evaluate the 17-year-old’s mental health. They have until mid-September to file their report.