Nearly all the 1,200 students, teachers and other employees at a high school in Gjøvik gathered on Tuesday to collectively mourn the death of 15-year-old Oscar André Overn. The teenager was murdered by his own father at the family’s home in the small, historic community of Kapp on the shores of Lake Mjøsa last month.
The community remains shocked by the crime, to which the boy’s father has admitted. He remains in police custody, charged with both murder and sexual assault on a child under the age of 14. Police have confirmed that the assault victim was also the young Overn, indicating that he had suffered abuse before his father strangled him early on the morning of October 9th. The teenager died at Ullevål University Hospital in Oslo last week.
Media coverage of family tragedies is generally restrained in Norway, but the boy’s mother and two younger sisters opted for openness to avoid speculation and rumours. The father is also charged with locking the boy’s mother out on a second-floor balcony at the family’s home, while he attacked the boy after he’d reportedly told his mother about the assaults.
“We all understand that words aren’t enough,” the local pastor at Hoff Church in Toten told those gathered in the gymnasium at Gjøvik videregående skole on Tuesday. “Our thoughts to the family and Oscar André’s closest friends.” The school’s principal said it was “good to see so many gathered to remember Oscar” at the memorial that included music and prepared remarks. His funeral will be held at Hoff Church in Østre Toten on Friday.