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Psychologist murder: Lithuanian pair confess

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09:17 CEST+02:00
An 18 year old woman and a 37 year old man arrested earlier this week have confessed to the brutal murder of psychologist Helena Bering. The pair are being held by Lithuanian police in Vilnius and have been charged with the crime in their absence by Stockholm prosecutors.

A senior source in the Lithuanian police told Expressen:

"The murder was planned. They planned to rob her and then murder her to wipe away any trace of the robbery... They chose a woman because it's easier to rob a woman than a man."

Bering, a 56 year old mother of five, disappeared in Östermalm, Stockholm early on the afternoon of 18th August. According to accounts of police interviews, the two Lithuanians kidnapped her in her own car. They drove Bering to woods outside Bålsta, north west of the capital, where she was stabbed at least ten times in the back.

The pair then drove Bering's car to the ferry terminal in Nynäshamn, south of Stockholm, where they left the car and took the ferry to Ventspils in Latvia.

Police found the abandoned car on the 21st August and her body was discovered eight days later. Police are hopeful that forensic evidence secured from the car can connect the Lithuanian pair to the vehicle.

Another vital factor in the investigation has been Bering's mobile phone. It was missing from the scene where her body was found, but police have still been able to track its movements. According to a source who spoke to Aftonbladet, the 37 year old may have tried to throw police off the scent by using two phones, one of which could have been Bering's with a different SIM-card.

But with help from authorities in Estonia as well as Lithuania, the suspect could be tracked.

"He used the same telephone in Bålsta and in Vilnius," the source told Aftonbladet.

The 37 year old attracted the attention of the police from the beginning as he was one of only seven foot passengers on the ferry to Latvia on the 18th August. His name was on the passenger list.

Over the following weeks, Lithuanian police had gradually put together so much material which pointed towards the 37 year old that they decided to arrest him. He had been working as a taxi driver in Kaunus, Lithuania's second city, and was lured into a police trap when he was asked to pick up a passenger at a supermarket.

The man has a history of violence, including a recent assault on a fellow taxi driver, and has served a prison sentence for theft.

The 18 year old woman, who was also arrested and has confessed, was seen accompanying the man on the ferry. It isn't known exactly what their relationship is. They come from the same town, but are not thought to be romantically attached. According to Expressen, they had come to Sweden to look for work.

The whole investigation seems to be a triumph of international co-operation. The Lithuanian end of the investigation was led by Inspector Antoni Mikulskis, who proudly told Expressen:

"The collaboration with the Swedish police has worked fantastically well, a very professional job."

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