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Elk, not husband, killed Swedish woman: police

TT/The Local · 1 Dec 2009, 17:35

Published: 01 Dec 2009 17:35 GMT+01:00

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The 69-year-old man, a resident of Lofthammer in southern Sweden, is now demanding compensation for being falsely accused of murder.

“He has been detained on suspicion of a crime that was never committed,” the man’s attorney, Jonas Granfelt, told the TT news agency.

Granfelt is highly critical of the way in which prosecutors and the police handled the investigation after the 63-year-old woman was found seriously injured near the shore of a lake outside of Loftahammar in northeast Småland in September 2008.

According to the lawyer, investigators were too quick to assume that his client had killed his wife.

“What was first characterized as a murder has now been shown to be a tragic accident,” said police spokeswoman Cecilia Brick at a press conference in nearby Västervik.

She said that the case had been complicated for investigators, with new questions popping up constantly.

Police have conducted hundreds of interviews, as well as employed assistance from the National Laboratory of Forensic Science (Statens kriminaltekniska laboratorium – SKL) and the National Criminal Investigation Department (Rikskriminalpolisen) assailant profiling team.

Johan Bruun, head of forensics with the Kalmar County police department, said he first believed the woman had been killed in a location other than the one where her body was found.

Investigators also believed that strands of hair found on the woman’s body came from a dog.

“The turning point came when we learned from SKL in January that it was hair from an animal in the deer family,” Bruun told TT.

Göran Ericsson, a professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Umeå in northern Sweden, said it’s not uncommon for elk to behave aggressively toward humans or to attack outright, but serious injuries would only likely result following a series of unfortunate circumstances.

Story continues below…

He considers the woman’s fatal run in with the elk to be an extremely rare event.

“We’re not aware of any similar case in the world,” he told TT.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:35 December 1, 2009 by jack sprat
Look forward with great interest for the evil offending elk to be taken into custody and stand trial.

Little doubt it will get off with 6 weeks community service and 100 bales of top quality hay before returnig to the forests to enjoy the rest of its natural.
21:28 December 1, 2009 by livinginsweden
The lawyer was critical of the prosecutors and polis for being too quick to suspect the husband ..... ..

Hallo ...... ? Is that a surprise .... ?

It is often or always the husband, or ex-husband or ex boyfriend or the ex sambo .... or a jealous boyfriend or a man she rejected.

If the husband is a 'foreigner' .. the suspicion is on the husband and all his relatives.... for honour killing

Or the husband who disguised himself in the skin and head of an elk......
22:39 December 1, 2009 by Johanne
That is one well trained Elk.

Shows his commitment to spend over 60 years training it to finish the job.
23:16 December 1, 2009 by dizzymoe33
Laugh all you want to people this is a tragic series of events. How that poor man has suffered the loss of his wife and then to be imprisioned for the crime he did not committ is tragic.
01:28 December 2, 2009 by Davey-jo
Oh dear, t'was the deer that killed my dear.
09:13 December 2, 2009 by livinginsweden

Sure it is tragic ... and we should not laugh .. but the 69 yr old man is not alone .. and to not have a small laugh and chuckle at the system would be to assume that this is a one time genuine mistake ... but thats the reality ... guilty until the elk confesses.

We live in a stereotype world ... even Tiger is guilty until proven innocent.

Every divorcing husband is a child abuser, a wife beater, a peadophile, an alcoholic, etc. until ... forever...
01:56 December 3, 2009 by dizzymoe33
@livinginsweden yes the system is backwards even here in the States the criminals have more rights than the victims it is a shame.
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