‘No foul play’ in teen girl’s hanging death

The 17-year-old girl who was found hanged in a tree in in southern Stockholm last Thursday was most likely not the victim of a crime, medical examiners concluded on Monday.

'No foul play' in teen girl's hanging death

The girl, who was found dead on Thursday morning in a wooded area in Skärholmen, has been identified by Swedish media as Jassitha.

Initially, police suspected suicide, however new information has led investigators to suspect a murder which may have been set up to look like a suicide.

But following the completion of an autopsy on Monday, police are now returning to their original theory about the girl’s death.

“It shows that the death was probably not caused by a crime,” police spokesperson Hesam Akbari told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

Jassitha’s friends and family have spoken out about the death of the 17-year-old, who was found hanged in the woods near her home and had been missing for several days prior to the discovery.

“She was such a beautiful girl, she would never take her own life, she was so strong,” said Jassitha’s father to the Aftonbladet newspaper.

“She was my little girl, and the police must find out who has done this.”

He told Expressen that Jassitha was an accomplished student who dreamed of becoming a doctor.

Meanwhile, police continue to search for clues in the area where the girl was discovered, as well as interviewing friends and family of the girl.

The deceased girl’s boyfriend has revealed that a text message he received from Jassitha before her death said “See you in the next life,” wrote the paper.

The boyfriend also insisted that she would never have committed suicide.

One year ago, a relative of the girl was formally charged for several cases of aggravated assault and violation of integrity against the 17-year-old.

The relative was arrested and detained, yet despite the fact that the girl had given witness statements to police documenting her injuries, she retracted her statement in the court’s official hearing.

The relative was still convicted after having confessed to the crimes during the investigation and several witnesses had confirmed the story.

“We recognize the conviction, and have spoken with the relative after the girl’s death,” Ville Paloheimo of the Söderort police told the paper.

Despite the medical examiner’s findings, police continue to investigate Jassitha’s death.

“We haven’t dropped the case as there are a few measures we need to complete before we can change directions or close the case,” Akbari told SvD.

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Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.