Students mourn murdered friend

The flag outside Tungelsta school, south of Stockholm, was at half-staff this morning, a sombre tribute to the 12-year-old student who was stabbed to death over the weekend.

A moment of silence started the school day Monday. The schoolyard was full of students when the minute-long silence began. Flowers were put down next to a photo of the murdered girl, while some cried and consoled one another.

Because the school suffered after the tsunami in 2004, a crisis group was already organized and ready to be with students during Monday’s classes.

“The atmosphere is very down, but the school is prepared and is ready to meet the students and their needs, said Haninge district’s spokeswoman Margaretha Picano.

Police were quick in detaining the girl’s 26-year-old stepfather. He is in custody for allegedly murdering the girl and raping her 13-year-old friend.

The man’s lawyer, Bo Hegestam, said his client was high on anabolic steroids and alcohol during the alleged murder and is unable to remember anything during that time.

“That is why he can neither admit nor deny what he is being accused of,” Hegestam said, adding that his client is a “very nice guy who has psychiatric problems sometimes.”

The man is due to go through a memory test.

The 13-year-old girl was taken to the hospital with serious but not life threatening injuries. According to police, her situation was unchanged on Sunday.

Police did a thorough investigation of the apartment Saturday.

“I don’t want to say anything about the investigation or a possible murder weapon for the investigations sake, said Mats Nylén, Södertorn police spokesman.