Höganäs murder: men not guilty

Two men who admit being at the scene when 18-year-old Julia Olteanu was murdered in Höganäs, southern Sweden, in 1998 have been found not guilty of the crime by a court in Helsingborg.

The men, aged 28 and 29, blamed each other for the killing. Prosecutors say they murdered Olteanu together.

The 18-year-old was found badly injured in a garden near her home on a December evening in 1998, after she had gone on a short walk to the grocery store. She died without regaining consciousness.

The case went unsolved for many years. Olteanu’s former boyfriend and a teenager with learning difficulties who had committed another murder in the area featured as suspects for a while.

The breakthrough came in the spring, when a group from Skåne Police investigating unsolved murders started looking at the case. They were tipped off that the 29-year-old had come home wit bloody trousers on the night of the murder.

Both men were previously known to the police, and detectives believe that the woman was killed when they interrupted a break-in. The men have confirmed many of the details of the crime, but each claims that it was the other man who killed Olteanu, and that he himself tried to stop the attack.

There is no forensic evidence to prove either of the men’s versions. There are no witnesses to the crime and the exact scene of the crime is unknown.

It was clear that the men would both be found not guilty when they were released from custody prior to today’s verdict.