BERLIN (AP) — A 32-year-old German man arrested in the disappearance nearly a month ago of a 4-year-old Bosnia migrant has confessed to killing the boy, authorities said Thursday.
Prosecutor Michael von Hagen told reporters that the man, whose identity wasn't released, was turned in by his mother after she recognized him in video released by police.
Police were interviewing the mother at her home in the state of Brandenburg, outside Berlin, when the suspect showed up there Thursday morning and confessed, telling police that he had the child's body in the car.
Officers found the body in the trunk in a large tub, mostly covered by cat litter, von Hagen said.
An autopsy is still being performed but von Hagen said that it appears that the boy was not "killed today or yesterday."
He said the suspect is currently being questioned about a possible motive, but that there's no evidence that the suspect had any xenophobic feelings nor had any link to far-right groups.
The boy, Mohamed Januzi, was last seen on Oct. 1 leaving the central registration center for migrants in Berlin with an unidentified man. The following week police published photos of Mohamed and a grainy video of a man leading the boy along a street, and the case drew widespread attention in Germany.
On Tuesday, police posted new pictures of the boy and clearer amateur video of the man in hopes of getting new leads. At the same time authorities announced rewards totaling 20,000 euros ($22,000) for information and described the suspect as of European appearance, slim, with dark hair and a beard.
It is unclear how Mohamed became separated from his mother and siblings.
There have been long lines and frequent overcrowding at the registration center this year as Germany struggles to absorb a huge influx of refugees and other migrants, though the opening this month of another facility has eased the pressure somewhat.
Frank Jordans and Geir Moulson contributed to this story.