In the case of the 15-year-old who was killed in Salzgitter, the young suspects are silent. “The two alleged perpetrators have not provided any information,” said Hans Christian Wolters from the Braunschweig public prosecutor’s office. A 14-year-old boy is now in custody on suspicion of murder. A 13-year-old can’t be prosecuted as another suspect because he’s not of criminal age.

The investigation into the crime in the Lower Saxony city continued on Thursday and, according to Wolters, will take some time. Officials discovered the 15-year-old’s body on Tuesday in a park in Salzgitter-Fredenberg. Relatives had reported the girl missing to the police on Sunday evening.

The autopsy results showed that the girl had suffocated, Wolters said. He cited lack of oxygen as the cause of death. How exactly the suffocation came about and what happened in Fredenberg on Sunday evening has yet to be clarified. It is known that the suspects, both Germans, and the victim come from the same neighborhood, went to the same school and also had contact with each other.

However, the investigators are still keeping a low profile on the exact course of events. When asked how the two suspects came into focus so quickly, the prosecutor initially did not comment. There was initially no confirmation of a media report that a third youth was said to have witnessed the crime.

More details about the relationship between victims and alleged perpetrators have yet to be determined, said Wolters. The public prosecutor’s office assumes murder and sees base motives. According to initial findings, the act was insidious because the victim’s suspicion and defenselessness was exploited. “It didn’t happen spontaneously,” Wolters said.

With a view to the younger suspect, everything else is a matter for the youth welfare office, said the spokesman for the public prosecutor. Although the 13-year-old is considered an urgent suspect, he is under the age of criminal responsibility and therefore cannot be prosecuted. The role of the 13-year-old will be further investigated, but only indirectly in the course of the investigation of the 14-year-old suspect.

According to the public prosecutor, the 13-year-old could be accommodated in a closed facility. “Compulsory placement is only permitted by a family court decision,” said the head of the youth department in Salzgitter, Dirk Härdrich, after the fact became known. A decision on this is expected shortly, said a city spokesman on Thursday.

In the affected school, the tragic case has led to deep dismay and extreme stress, as the state school authorities announced on request. “The situation is difficult for everyone at school and hard to believe,” said spokeswoman Bianca Trogisch.