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Thursday, February 22, 2024

More details emerge in ‘gruesome’ triple murder-suicide case

UPDATED: Norwegian police were dealing with yet another multiple murder case this week, after a 65-year-old man killed his two grown daughters and a grandchild before killing himself. One of the women found murdered worked for the local police, so officers from Oslo have taken over responsibility for the investigation.

Armed police descended on the small community of Skogbygda in Nes, located in a mostly rural area northeast of Oslo and just west of Kongsvinger. They found four people dead inside a house filled with smoke, and one of the victims was a colleague who worked for the local police. PHOTO: Politiets fellesforbund

“This is a tragic incident that affects us all,” said Cecilie Lilaas-Skaari, police chief for Norway’s eastern region including the small community of Skogbygda in Nes, just west of Kongsvinger. “This is a sad day for us in the eastern district, who have lost a colleague.”

She said at a press conference Tuesday that police were called to the house, still decorated with holiday lights, in the late morning and found it full of smoke. “There were also other emergency services in place at the site,” Grete Metlid, inspector for the Oslo Police, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), “and they understood very quickly that they faced a very serious situation.”

Metlid said at a press conference on Thursday that it was still too early to establish a motive for the triple murder-suicide. “We’re trying to get more information about what set this off, and what was the background for it,” Metlid said. Other members of the family were quickly notified, while police also “were taking care of our own crews” who worked with one of the victims and found her dead from gunshot wounds.

Police could confirm on Thursday that the 65-year-old man shot and killed his 30-year-old daughter (who worked for the police) and her child, a 10-month-old baby girl, who were apparently visiting the family home. He also shot and killed his 24-year-old daughter who still lived at the large, visibly well-kept house in the rural area between Oslo and Kongsvinger.

He then called police to report his murders and said he intended to kill himself as well. When police arrived they found all four family members dead at the scene along with the family’s dog, which also had been shot and killed.

Metlid of the Oslo Police said there no known health- or treatment records for the assailant, “but it’s natural that we investigate his mental and physical health.” The younger woman was said to have still been living at the house with her parents.

The woman who is the mother and grandmother of the three victims has so far declined to say anything, according to the attorney who was quickly appointed by the state to represent her, Hege Salomon. Authorities have not released the identities of all involved nor have they been publicly reported, in keeping with media custom in Norway to shield surviving family members.

“This is an absolutely terrible and gruesome case,” Salomon told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Thursday. “It must be the worst nightmare anyone can experience.”

Neighbours had earlier told NRK there was never any sign of trouble at the home. “They were super neighbours, never any noise from them,” longtime local resident Roy Aasvangen told NRK. He described the scene outside the house on Tuesday as “unreal,” after police cars, fire trucks, ambulances and two helicopters descended on the neighbourhood, along with “so many officers wearing bullet-proof vests and carrying weapons.”

The local church opened to provide a place for neighbours to gather if they needed someone to talk to, and a crisis team was set up by local officials. The church has remained open as a local gathering place all week. “This is deeply tragic and there’s great sorrow in our community, where everyone knows everyone,” said Nes Mayor Tove Nyhus.

It’s the latest in a series of murders in Norway since the Christmas and New Year holidays. Several others were also family-related.

NewsinEnglish.no staff

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