Dec 15

- Sweden strangling: 10-year-old boy confesses to killing four-year-old (Telegraph, Dec. 15, 2011):

A boy aged 10 has confessed to strangling a four-year-old boy with a skipping rope in a case that has shocked a rural town.

The younger boy, named only as Texas, disappeared on October 16 and was found dead in nearby woodland.

It was reported he had gone missing from the courtyard near the apartment where he lived in the village of Ljungby after getting into an argument with other children.

Police confirmed the young boy had admitted the killing.

“A 10-year-old boy has confessed to strangling the four-year-old,” police said.

The two-month investigation involved around 40 officers and 540 interviews, including 65 with children aged five to 15.

Police did not give any details about a possible motive.

Robert Loeffel, head of information at Kronoberg county police, told Swedish news agency TT: “The boy has told us what he did and how he did it and there is a confession in that.”

The child, who is five years younger than Sweden’s age of criminal responsibility, will be held in a secure social care unit.

He was believed to have been questioned several times after coming to the attention of the police early in the investigation.

“There has never been another suspect than this boy,” Deputy prosecutor Yvonne Rudinsson told TT.

“I won’t elaborate on what he has said, but new information has emerged in all the interrogations. As far as I am concerned, the crime is solved.

“The difficulty with this investigation has been that the evidence came from children and that was a very difficult situation to handle.”

There was shock yesterday in Ljungby, which has up till now known mainly as the birthplace of Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, the furniture chain.

“We had all hoped that it was an accident: then it would have been much easier to move on,” Maj-Britt Claesson, who manages the nursery which many of the boys’ friends still attend, told a Swedish newspaper. “This is a terrible tragedy for both families.”

Ing-Marie Bystrom, the head of social welfare in Ljungby, who now has care of the boy, said he would not be punished.

“The role of social services is not to punish. It is to provide care and treatment and we will now make use of child psychiatry,” she told a Swedish newspaper.

“We have already started working around the clock on care and treatment,” she added. “This is an extremely tragic and fortunately rare event.”

“Children can be cruel to each other, but not evil,” Margit Ekenberg, a child psychologist, said.

Officials said the boy had been taken into custody with his family. “The whole family has been moved, along with the boy, to a secret location,” said Carina Karlund, spokesman for the social services department in Ljungby municipality. “They are getting 24-hourtreatment to help them deal with the things that have happened. It’s important that the parents cooperate in these kind of cases.”

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