December 24, 2021 6:54 p.m.
After three days on the run, the police in the Netherlands caught a man from Germany. The murderer, sentenced to life imprisonment, had freed himself from his ankle bracelet on Tuesday and moved to the neighboring country. Access in Enschede followed on Christmas Eve.
The legally convicted murderer Ralf H. was caught on Friday night in the Netherlands. According to the police in Münster and the Dortmund public prosecutor’s office, he was arrested in Enschede in an apartment. According to a police spokeswoman, his partner was with him. The 56-year-old fled from his home in Münster on Tuesday evening after he had freed himself from a court-ordered ankle cuff.
The investigators had found the duo with the help of investigators from the State Criminal Police Office. The Dutch police arrested the fugitive. Two cars registered to his 54-year-old fiancée were found near the home.
According to the police, the evaluation of the data from the electronic ankle cuff had brought clues to Enschede. According to this, Ralf H. had often stayed in the apartment around 70 kilometers away from Münster in the past. Enschede is located north-west of Münster just behind the German-Dutch border.
Ralf H. was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Dortmund Regional Court last January 27 years after the violent death of Nicole Schalla, then 16 years old. He attacked and strangled the student in a suburb of Dortmund in 1993 – for sexual reasons.
In 2018, the now 56-year-old was arrested after a re-evaluation of DNA traces. It was about a flake of skin that had been found on the body of the student. A first trial had failed because of a sick judge.
After the verdict, the Hamm Higher Regional Court decided that the convicted person had to be released from the lengthy pre-trial detention pending a final judgment. From the point of view of the OLG, the regional court had allowed itself too much time between the two processes. The OLG saw no risk of escape. At the request of the police in Münster, the Münster district court ordered the German resident of Münster to wear an ankle bracelet in April 2021.
At the time of the flight on Tuesday, Ralf H. had received the decision of the Federal Court of Justice that the judgment of the Dortmund Regional Court is final. The notice of custody for his life sentence should still be served on him.
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(rt / dpa)