BERLIN (AP) — Hopes faded Thursday that German authorities might have solved the seven-year-old kidnapping and slaying of a German banker's wife after prosecutors said DNA taken from a newly arrested suspect did not match samples from the crime scene.
Following the test results, Ellwangen prosecutors' spokesman Armin Burger said his office had released the 47-year-old man, who was taken into custody quickly after his image was released to the public Wednesday. He said they were still looking into his possible involvement, however.
The man was arrested overnight in the area of Heidenheim — the same town where Maria Boegerl was kidnapped from her home in 2010.
After he was taken into custody, authorities said he had had told them he had a hatred for the Boegerl family but denied being involved in her killing, the dpa news agency reported. Police refused to comment, referring all queries to prosecutors. Burger was not available by telephone.
Authorities said the man made drunken boasts in the northwestern city of Hagen in 2016, recorded by two witnesses, which led police to believe he was involved in the crime.
They identified the man as a former soldier who was from the town of Ochsenberg, near the scene of the kidnapping. In the audio recording released by police, he can be heard talking about having left a knife in the woods, slurring his words.
Boegerl, 54, was taken from her home in Heidenheim on May 12, 2010.
The kidnapper then contacted the woman's husband, an executive with a local bank, and demanded a ransom of 300,000 euros ($325,000), speaking in a local accent. The ransom money was left at the side of a highway as requested, but was never picked up.
Boegerl was able to briefly speak with her husband by phone, telling him that her life was in danger, but was not heard from after that.
Three weeks later, her body was found in a wooded area near where the ransom money was left. An autopsy concluded she had been stabbed to death.