The Eidsberg Church southeast of Oslo was packed on Thursday when funeral services were held for 24-year-old Heikki Bjørklund Paltto. He was stabbed to death in what police have called a particularly brutal murder in his apartment at Majorstuen in Oslo last Monday.
Paltto’s family and many friends gathered amidst memorial wreaths and candlelight inside the church from the Middle Ages that has seating for 450. Chaplain Magnus Vesteraas noted that those mourning Paltto “have undergone the worst a family and a community can experience. We still don’t have all the answers.”
Paltto’s alleged assailant, a 20-year-old Swede with a criminal record, was arrested in France on Tuesday afternoon after being on the run for more than a week. Makaveli Lindén faces charges tied to both Paltto’s murder and the robbery of another man at knifepoint earlier that day, with Norwegian authorities now working to have him extradited to stand trial in Norway.
Paltto’s girlfriend delivered an emotional address directed at Paltto’s coffin, saying that it felt “unreal to be standing here in your funeral, in the church where we were supposed to marry.” All those speaking described Paltto as a kind, thoughtful, reflective and caring young man. Six of his closest friends carried his coffin out of the church.