Ex-partner of missing woman released

Ex-partner of missing woman released
The former partner of a woman who went missing in western Sweden last month was released from police custody on Friday, but remains suspected of her murder.

The 37-year-old man is suspected of murdering 31-year-old Marina Johansson, who disappeared from her home in Stenungsund, about 50 kilometres north of Gothenburg, on 27th or 28th July. No body has been found.

“In some respects, suspicions against the 37-year-old have been strengthened. If we had found a body the level of proof would have been stronger than at present,” said prosecutor Niklas Sannerholm in Uddevalla.

The order to release the man was given at lunchtime on Friday, after which he was released immediately. He had been held for one week on suspicion of murder. He was classified as ‘suspected for good reason’, the lower level of suspicion in the Swedish system. Suspects held on this level of suspicion cannot by law be held for longer than a week, so more evidence would have been needed to keep the man in custody.

The suspects has denied all allegations levelled against him. His lawyer, Michael Hansson, would not reveal what he had told police.

“It is not easy for him to go around with these allegations hanging over him, even if he has been released. The only thing we are saying at present is that he denies all the allegations.”

Police say they are certain that Marina Johansson has been murdered. They have been searching for her body all week, focusing on the area around her home in a settlement close to Stenungsund. Niklas Sannerholm would not comment on whether he suspected the man of hiding Johansson’s body:

“The fact that he has been released is a complicating factor for the investigation. But we are continuing to search for [Marina Johansson] on a number of fronts. What we have found to date is not something that I will comment on,” he said.

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