A Norwegian man in his 20s has been charged with negligent homicide after two 16-year-old sisters were found dead during the weekend at a house in Spydeberg, southeast of Oslo. Police suspect drug overdose.
A third teenage girl was also found unconscious in the house late Saturday night and rushed to hospital. State broadcaster NRK reported that her condition was unclear but that she had been able to respond to questions from the police.
The parents of the two dead girls willingly identified them as Mille and Mina Hjalmarsen, unusual in Norway where the identities of those involved in allegedly criminal acts are often withheld. The parents’ state-appointed lawyer told TV2 that they wanted to express that “Mina and Mille were two fine girls who didn’t deserve this.”
It’s also been confirmed that both girls had ties to child protection authorities (Barnevernet), leaders of which at state agency Bufetat claimed they had “deep sympathy” for the parents of the twins and other family members. Bufetat claimed that “everyone” working within child protection “is deeply affected when such tragic events occur,” but otherwise refrained from further comment, citing professional confidentiality. On Monday Bufetat reported that they were cooperating with police to clarify responsibility and “the chain of events on Saturday tied to this tragic incident.”
The young man arrested at the scene faced a custody hearing on Monday at the local court for Follo and Nordre Østfold in Ski- He denied the charges against him, with his defense attorney Knut Ditlev-Simonsen describing the defendant as “very sorry and sad” about the situation. NRK reported that Ditlev-Simonsen confirmed his client has a police record and a history of drug abuse. The defendant was ultimately ordered held in custody for at least four weeks while police continue their investigation into the deaths.
Local police chief Olav Unnestad told NRK that “in line with other areas of Norway, we have challenges tied to use of narcotics among the young, perhaps especially that use of narcotics has become viewed by the young as not being dangerous.”