Rain clouds lay over Aschau im Chiemgau on Thursday morning. The summit of the nearby Kampenwand disappears in the fog. In the almost 6,000-inhabitant community, everything runs its tranquil course.
However, the place has been the focus of media interest for weeks. Since the night of October 3rd, when Hanna W. was killed near a creek after visiting the “Eiskeller” disco club.
The 23-year-old student was on her way home when she met her killer. Her body was washed into the Prien River and washed ashore ten kilometers below.
For weeks, the special commission “Club” searched for the perpetrator. With enormous effort, every kilometer of river between the scene of the crime and the place where it was found was searched. At the nearby Bärbach, which flows into the Prien, a ring from the victim and a clock, almost entirely made of wood, were found.
Did Hanna know her killer?
The investigators were also looking for a jogger who was seen on the night of death and who could possibly provide information about the case. The runner reported after a public call. However, the police initially announced that his statement had yielded nothing worth mentioning.
The case has long been the talk of the town. At the bakery, in the tavern or in the supermarket, people talk about the terrible fate of the young woman. When the police reported the arrest of a young suspect six days ago, speculation ran rampant again.
Did the alleged killer and the victim know each other beforehand? Or had they both only met in the discotheque? Did the found watch belong to the suspect? Who is the man? Where is he from?
In the meantime the fog is clearing a little. The “Bild” newspaper reported that the arrested suspect was the jogger who had already served as a witness in the past.
The suspect should actually be the jogger
The police declined to comment on this. According to FOCUS online information, said recreational athlete was actually taken into custody on suspicion of murder. Apparently a 20-year-old adolescent who also grew up in Aschau.
Apparently law enforcement had been keeping an eye on the enthusiastic runner for some time. A witness from his environment is said to have given the decisive tip.
A senior citizen who is having breakfast with friends at the bakery exclaims when she looks at the headline: “Oh, it’s supposed to have been the jogger?” There is a brief chat, then the group turns to other topics.
Another guest is enraged by the media noise. Which place likes to be the focus of reporting under these negative signs. The people seem affected by Hansa’s fate. Nobody leaves the case cold. Some don’t want to say anything so as not to add to the suffering of the victim’s family.
“Shock when a client goes to jail for the first time”
Others, on the other hand, answer reporters’ questions – calmly and factually, but firmly. Maybe it’s because of the Upper Bavarian warmth, maybe the people have developed a routine in dealing with the media.
Because the reporters have been running into them for weeks. After the suspect’s arrest, a resident feels a little safer again. “Especially when you go for a walk in the evening,” says the woman with a shopping bag in her hand.
Harald Baumgärtl had a long day of trial. On the phone, the suspect’s defense attorney reported to FOCUS online that he first had to read the files carefully in order to be able to make a judgment on the matter.
He has often experienced the phenomenon that “a kind of rigid shock sets in when a client has to go to prison for the first time. It’s no different here,” says the lawyer.
During the first visit, he didn’t talk to his client about the allegations, “but about all the legal options that are available here.”
So far seen no incriminating crime scene traces or DNA evidence
This means, for example, that an application for a detention review at the district court, followed by a complaint at the district court should there be any doubts about the chain of evidence against his client.
But we’re not that far yet. “So far,” Baumgärtl confesses, “I have not been able to discover any incriminating traces of the crime scene, nor have I seen any DNA evidence.”
The result of the house search at his client’s is still pending. During the demonstration in detention, the magistrate found that there was an urgent suspicion of a crime based on the tipster from the accused’s environment.
“The police will continue to investigate the case comprehensively in order to collect incriminating but exculpatory evidence,” the lawyer is certain. Should there be an indictment, another question must be clarified: Was it murder or manslaughter? “In the end, the public prosecutor’s office has to prove whether there were signs of murder or not.”
SOKO Klub continues to work through all traces
Meanwhile, the SOKO Klub continues to work through all the tracks. Stefan Sonntag, spokesman for the police headquarters in Upper Bavaria South, speaks of around “400 witness hearings that are still pending”.
200 guests of the disco have already been questioned, another 200 are still planned, plus about 180 from the environment of the suspect and the victim. The wooden watch found in the stream near the crime scene is also an important piece of evidence.
So far, the investigators have not been able to assign the timer to the 20-year-old suspect. It can be heard from Sunday’s words that the chain of evidence is apparently still very thin.
That is why there is also a great deal of silence on the part of the police regarding the person of the suspect, right down to the origin and the information provided by the key witness. The Presidency always emphasizes: “The presumption of innocence applies until a conviction is reached.”