Incompatible DNA tests carried out separately by Swedish and German authorities have now caused a further delay in the case.
“We received a DNA analysis from Sweden. But the medical college in Hannover which oversees our technical investigation, says the Swedish and German police have used different analytic methods. So the tests from Sweden can’t be compared with those we’ve taken from the woman in custody,” said German prosecutor Thomas Klinge, to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.
As a result of the mix up, police are still unable to discern from DNA evidence whether or not the 31-year-old German woman was present at the scene of the crime.
An official from Sweden’s National Laboratory of Forensic Science (SKL) blamed the German lab for the problem.
“Germany wondered what system we used, and they received that information. And since then we haven’t hear anything about our systems not being synchronized. We haven’t received any signals about that at all,” said SKL’s Sabine Rütten to DN.
Rütten added that SKL could get new results “in a few days” if the German lab would simply tell their Swedish counterparts which parts of the test to synchronize.
The development marks yet another example of the difficulties faced by Swedish and German investigators as they struggle to work together to investigate whether the 31-year-old woman had any role in the brutal stabbing deaths of two toddlers in Sweden more than three weeks ago.
The children’s 23-year-old mother remains hospitalized from injuries suffered in the attack and police hope to speak with her about the incident soon.
Early in the investigation, the German suspect’s lawyer accused Swedish police of dragging their feet with the DNA analysis.
“Swedish police have taken an awfully long time to prepare an analysis of the DNA sample,” Tanja Brettschneider told news agency TT.
And when Swedish police officers traveled to Germany to interview the 31-year-old suspect, they returned home having only been able to observe questioning conducted by German police.
The woman still refuses to answer questions from police, as is her right under German law.
Swedish officials are currently considering a request to have the suspect extradited to Sweden, as it may be their only chance to question her.
According to DN, police in Hannover are now waiting for new DNA tests from the Swedish victims to compare with samples taken from the 31-year-old German’s finger nails.
German police have also agreed to send over their investigation material for translation into Swedish.