Murder charges in Carolin Stenvall killing

Prosecutors in Gällivare in northern Sweden on Monday formally charged a 51-year-old man with murder in the death of 29-year-old Carolin Stenvall.

Murder charges in Carolin Stenvall killing

According to the indictment presented by prosecutor Ulrika Schönbeck to the Gällivare District Court, 51-year-old Toni Alldén killed Stenvall by shooting her in the back and the head with a hunting rifle.

Alldén has confessed to shooting the woman, who was first reported missing in September 2008 after failing to turn up for a job interview.

He said he recalled shooting her at least one time and that his gun was pointed toward Stenvall’s head.

The killing took place on September 12th at a rest stop near the E10 motorway following a dispute between Alldén and Stenvall about his driving.

During a press conference on Monday Schönbeck revealed that investigators found a bullet matching the calibre of a gun owned by Alldén, but added that there was no indication that the two knew each other prior to the killing, and that no clear motive for the shooting has yet to emerge

“Why this has happened remains shrouded in darkness for the most part, and in particular in the initial phases,” Schönbeck told reporters.

Alldén also denies that he had an accomplice in the killing.

Traces of Stenvall’s hair and blood found in Alldén’s car initially tied him to the victim.

Following his arrest in October, Alldén admitted to having caused Stenvall’s death, but denied that he had murdered the 29-year-old.

According to Alldén, Stenvall was first injured after he pushed he to the ground at the rest area, at which point he panicked and loaded the woman’s body into his car.

He then drove for several hours trying to figure out what to do with Stenvall, who was still alive at the time.

At some point, Alldén stopped off at another rest area near the E10 motorway, about 40 kilometres south of where he had initially pushed Stenvall.

He then lifted the woman’s body out of the car and shot her in the back. He claims that he is sure Stenvall was already dead at that point, but can’t explain why he fired the shots at her allegedly lifeless body.

According to Alldén, his head was filled with chaos at the time.

He then put Stenvall’s body back in his car and drove to a small forest road where he tried to burn the body, covering her remains with leaves.

Several weeks later he then moved the body to another isolated forest trail, an act for which Alldén still cannot provide any explanation.

While in custody, Alldén underwent a psychiatric examination which found that he wasn’t suffering from any mental illness, meaning that he will face time in jail if convicted.

Alldén’s attorney Leif Gustafsson explained his client’s position at a press conference on Monday.

“My client is sticking by his earlier account of what happened. He hasn’t changed anything. He confesses to causing the death of another, which happened when he pushed the woman so that was injured and later died,” he said, adding that Alldén also admits to the crime of disturbing the peace of the dead.

“That happened when he fired two shots in her body, moved it, and burned it.”


Santa Winter Games draw Christmas lovers to the Arctic

Christmas cheer came early to Sweden's Arctic mining town of Gällivare this weekend, where Santas from around the world gathered to compete in one of the world's most important but little known sporting events: the Santa Winter Games.

Santa Winter Games draw Christmas lovers to the Arctic

“We’re getting into shape before delivering all the Christmas presents and we want to make all the children happy today,” said the only Mother Christmas taking part in the competition.

She traveled from France and donned her red suit to compete for the second year in a row.

The nine competitors and their elves paraded Saturday through the Lapland town of Gällivare, located 100 kilometres inside the Arctic Circle, to the site of the competition in the town’s centre.

Japan’s Santa Claus was accompanied by three human reindeer, who, in a gracious display of Christmas spirit, agreed to pull the sleigh of the local Santa also competing in the event.

Along the route, curious onlookers joined the procession.

Agnes, a toddler bundled up in a warm purple snowsuit, was fascinated.

“A Santa! Oh! Another one! I have to kiss them! All of them! I’ve never seen so many,” she exclaimed.

Raissa, a Russian 53-year-old, came to watch the games for the fifth year in a row.

“I like all these Santa Clauses. It’s fun and nice. It’s an event that

makes me happy,” she said with a wide grin.

As spectators watched from the sidelines, elves and reindeer handed out flags, whistles and candy to supporters.

The Father Christmas from Spain had a three-year-old helper named Marco who conscientiously completed his duties before diving face-first into the snow, as he discovered white fluffy snowflakes for the first time.

The competition included a reindeer-riding event, porridge-eating, karaoke and sack races, before the jury crowned a winner.

“Our local Laplander has to win. He rocks!” said Siri, 11, who watched the competition with her friends atop a snowy hill.

“I promised the Dutch participant that I’d root for him. He’s so nice,” said Ina-Britt, 76, who has watched each Santa Winter Games since the start in 2003.

France’s Mother Christmas said she was having fun, even though there’s a lot of effort involved.

“It’s not that easy,” she admitted between two events.

“Ho ho ho, I’m happy, Merry Christmas!” thundered in English the Chinese Father Christmas who came all the way from Hong Kong.

In the end, the Santa from the Netherlands was declared the winner of the 2012 competition.

“I’m thrilled: I’m the first to win two years in a row. I’m going to come back next year to defend my title,” he vowed.

After the competition, everyone had a smile on their lips as they drank mulled wine – or hot chocolate for the youngsters – at the town’s picturesque Christmas market.

Some 400 people braved the cold in parkas and warm boots to watch this year’s competition, a record, according to organizers.

“Next year, we’ll do things bigger,” said Mathias Svalenström, who

organizes the annual event.

AFP/The Local

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