German police have issued an arrest warrant for a woman who they say trawled Instagram for her doppelganger and then murdered the lookalike in an attempt to fake her own death.
The bizarre case dates back to Aug. 16 of last year, when a 23-year-old woman, identified by German press as Shahraban K., was found dead in a car in the city of Ingolstadt. Her body had been stabbed multiple times and her face was disfigured.
At the time, police called her “the victim of a violent crime,” and several of her family members identified the body.
The next day, however, police rolled back their statement, saying that after a forensic examination, they had “massive doubts” about the identity of the woman killed.
The tips began to roll in and that night, on Aug. 17, authorities arrested the woman “who was initially named as having been killed” on suspicion of homicide, as well as a 23-year-old Kosovan man by the name of Sheqir K.
(Under German privacy laws, the full names of victims or suspects are not publicly released.)
Police have remained quiet about the case up until this week, when they shared new information with the public Monday.
Investigators said they believe that Shahraban set up multiple accounts on Instagram last summer, and the various aliases were used to send messages to women who looked similar to her.
“By making various promises she tried to bring about meetings, which was initially unsuccessful,” Veronika Grieser of the Ingolstadt state prosecutor’s office said on Monday morning, according to The Guardian.
However, police say Shahraban eventually contacted a beauty blogger in a nearby town by the name of Khadidja O., who agreed to meet her.
Police allege that Khadidja was picked up by Shahraban and Shequir at her apartment the day of the murder and in a stretch of woodland between their two towns was lured out of the car and stabbed to death.
“The crime weapon has not been found, but the evidence is overwhelming,” Ingolstadt police spokesperson Andreas Aichele told the German tabloid Bild. “The victim was killed with over 50 thrusts of the knife, the face completely disfigured.”
Prosecutors allege the pair then put Khadidja into the backseat of the car, drove back to Ingolstadt and left the car on a quiet street to be found by Shahraban’s parents.
The investigation remains ongoing, but arrest warrants were issued for Sheqir and Shahraban, who have remained in custody since August of last year.
“You don’t get a case like this every day, especially with such a spectacular twist,” Aichele told Bild. “On the day we found the body there was nothing to prepare us for this development.”
Beyond citing “family problems,” police have not clarified why the suspect wanted to fake her death.
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