UPDATED: A man who first attempted to break into a home in the West Coast city of Haugesund with an axe on Tuesday later attacked a woman in a graveyard shortly thereafter. She died of injuries sustained in the attack and the man was in custody, charged with murder and ordered held in jail on Thursday.
Both crimes were still under investigation and police wouldn’t say whether the suspect, a 48-year-old Norwegian with a lengthy record of violent crime and narcotics convictions, attacked the woman with the axe as well. The axe was in police possession, while the man was due to undergo questioning by police. He already has been tested for alcohol and drugs and is likely to undergo a psychiatric evaluation as well.
Police believe the woman, identified as Bjørg Marie Skeisvoll Hereid, was a random victim whom the man merely encountered by chance at the Vår Frelsers (Our Saviour’s) cemetery in Haugesund. State broadcaster NRK reported on Thursday that Hereid, age 67, was attacked while out walking her dog and visiting a family grave at the cemetery.
There were several witnesses to the attack and police haven’t found any relation between the assailant and Hereid, who grew up on nearby Karmøy but had lived in Bærum just outside Oslo for many years. She had retired two month ago after 40 years as a teacher in Asker and Bærum high schools, and is survived by her husband and two grown children. Police took care of the family’s dog until her husband could retrieve it.