Eklund: Engla’s killing ‘an accident’

During further questioning on Monday, murderer Anders Eklund claimed the killing of 10-year-old Engla Höglund was an accident.

“It was a coincidence that they met and what happened was unplanned and an accident. He never intended to take her life,” said Eklund’s lawyer Jan Kyrö to the TT news agency.

Eklund also offered more details to police about what happened.

“What he said in those parts [of the interview] I can’t discuss,” said Kyrö.

A new interview with Eklund is planned for Wednesday afternoon.

Police in Dalarna admit they made a mistake by not investigating Eklund earlier following a tip about his possible involvement in the murder of Pernilla Hellgren in Falun in 2000.

Eklund admitted to the 2000 killing during questioning on Sunday, after which he then confessed to killing 10-year-old Engla and hiding her body.

Engla had gone missing last Saturday from her home town of Stjärnsund in Dalarna while cycling home from football practice. Chance photographs of her and of Eklund’s car taken within a minute of one another by a man testing out a new digital camera helped lead to the arrest of the 42-year-old truck driver.

“I’m proud of the police’s work. At the same time, we must pose self-critical questions about whether we could have avoided this tragedy. Should we have handled the tip on the suspect differently?” said Dalarna police head Sven Olov Hellberg.

The matter has been reported the National Police Related Crimes Unit in Gothenburg, a division of Sweden’s Prosecutorial Authority, which will determine if the bungled handling of the tip amounts to a breach of duty.

During Monday’s interrogation, Eklund also admitted to the attempted rape of a woman in Sandviken, east of Dalarna, in 2006.

Eklund, who has a long history of violent sex crimes, at first denied any involvement in Engla’s disappearance.

After being presented with evidence of his involvement with the 2000 murder of Hellgren, Eklund confessed to killing the 31-year-old woman in Falun. Shortly thereafter, he then admitted to killing Engla.