Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


            We, the comrades of Unit 1012: The VFFDP, offer our utmost condolences to the loved ones of German student, Maria Ladenburger. Let us not forget her.

Maria Ladenburger, 19, who was found raped and murdered in the university city of Freiburg (Picture: Enterprise)

Maria Ladenburger, daughter of an EU official daughter, was murdered

In the murder case of Maria Ladenburger, a 19-year-old female student from Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, was found raped and murdered on 17 October 2016 on the banks of Dreisam River near Schwarzwald-Stadion of the Bundesliga football club SC Freiburg. On 3 December 2016, the arrest of a 17-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan under the suspicion of being the perpetrator was announced by Freiburg police. His DNA already was analysed and the man was identified unambiguously.


Maria Ladenburger

The victim was a 19-year-old female student of medicine, who was initially named as Maria L. by the police according to German privacy law. She was the daughter of a high EU official, Clemens Ladenburger, a member of the Legal Service of the European Commission. She was born on 6 December 1996 and buried in Brussels on 27 October 2016. Ten days after her death, the family published her name in an obituary in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 26 October 2016, in which it pled for donations amongst others for refugees. Originally based in the Enzkreis in Baden-Württemberg, Maria Ladenburger came to Freiburg to attend the university. On the day of the crime, the night of 15/16 October 2016, she had been visiting a party of her faculty which she left at 02.37 a.m. and was on her way home by bike. She was raped near or inside the stadium and died of drowning in the Dreisam river shortly after 3 a.m. There were no witnesses of the crime. A female jogger found the body the next day.


Freiburg police formed a special commission consisting of 68 officers. It questioned more than 1,400 people and checked more than 1,600 clues. DNA of the perpetrator was found amongst others on his bike, which was discovered 500 metres off the scene.

A 18.5cm long hair that he lost at the murder scene and which portended on a conspicuos hairstyle - a bleached undercut - identified the perpetrator, a 17-year-old asylum seeker. His original haircolor was black. A policewoman recognized him on a CCTV recording from a streetcar which was taped in the vicinity on early 17 October, though he had partially changed his hairstyle. Besides the hair, also a black scarf that he wore identified the man, as DNA traces were also found on it. The arrest was announced on early 3 December. Freiburg police held a press conference the same day.

The case was subject of the ZDF TV programme Aktenzeichen XY … ungelöst.

Police is still checking if the victim and the perpetrator knew each other and if the authorities made mistakes supervising the perpetrator and the foster family.


The suspect is a 17-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan, a so-called "underage unaccompanied refugee" who immigrated into Germany in 2015 and lived in the home of a family in Freiburg, which was also questioned after his arrest. The suspect will be charged under juvenile criminal law, which means, he can receive a maximum jail term of 10 years, including the deportation. The deportation can only be executed, when the underage refugee can be handed over to relatives or a protectory, which is rarely the case.

Possible link to case of Carolin G.

It is still under investigation if the suspect is also responsible for the murder and rape of 27-year-old female jogger Carolin G., who was murdered three weeks later near Endingen, Baden-Württemberg, 30km outside of Freiburg. Police didn't find DNA there up to now. Both cases were subject of the same edition of the TV programme Aktenzeichen XY … ungelöst. More than 400 people called in to give clues to the police.


The teen worked voluntarily at a migrant centre

On 3 October, Martin Jäger, Secretary of State in the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Interior, sent 25 additional police forces to Freiburg to increase police presence. Politicians had also demanded improved equipment for the Freiburg police for some time. Guido Wolf, Minister of Justice of Baden-Württemberg, called for a change of code of criminal procedure to allow the police to determine also the colour of hair, eyes and skin during a DNA sample. The head mayor of Freiburg, Dieter Salomon (Green Party), stated, the origin of the perpetrator should not be taken into account "for sweeping judgements". Sigmar Gabriel (SPD chief) expressed his condolences, warned of "incitement of the people" and said, "refugees can commit the same horrifying crimes as people born in Germany." Julia Klöckner (CDU vice chairwoman) stated, "such cruelties are committed by natives and foreigners, this is no new phenomenon. It's not understandable how a human being can be able to do this." Rainer Wendt, head of Deutsche Polizeigewerkschaft (German Police Union) said: "This and many more victims would not be, if our country would have been prepared for the dangers that are connected to mass immigration."

ARD newsmagazine Tagesschau did not report the case in its main edition on 3 December, claiming it would be only of "regional significance" and for the minor perpetrator "the special protection for juveniles" would apply, while ZDF broadcaster featured it. This was subject to criticism. Stern magazine wrote, the ARD journalists had given an "absurd" explanation for their "ignorance". At this time, the case had already been reported internationally by the New York Times and the Washington Post.


There had been problems with "underage unaccompanied refugees" in Freiburg for some time; several crime cases were recorded, predominantly around the square of Stühlinger Kirchplatz, including some cases of sexual assaults, but mostly drug dealing and bodily injury.


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