Two weeks after Salzburg police made the grim discovery of a dead Serbian national in a bathtub two Syrian migrants have been arrested, confessing to killing the man.
Police in Salzburg had until now made no arrests in the bizarre murder case. Two weeks ago the authorities found a dead 30-year-old Serbian man in a bathtub in a local home with obvious signs of trauma.
Wednesday afternoon the police announced the arrest of two suspects from the night before, both Syrian migrants, who had confessed to the murder claiming that they strangled the Serbian after robbing him, reports Austrian paper Kurier.
The pair of Syrians, both aged 19, are already well known to the local police who say that this is by no means the first crime they have committed – though certainly the most serious. The Syrians are said to have been well prepared to rob their Serbian victim, wearing gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints. The attackers waited outside a petrol station to attack their victim, who was an acquaintance.
“After a short conversation they tied up the victim, overpowered, abused, strangled, and killed him,” said National Police Director Franz Ruf at a press conference on Wednesday. The body was left in a bath full of water with shampoo and other cleaning products, likely in an attempt to destroy forensic evidence. The bath was empty of water when the body was discovered, likely due to a leaking plug Mr. Ruf said.
After the brutal murder, the migrants plundered the apartment of the Serbian, taking valuables and clothing. Neighbours are said to have spotted the attackers leaving the apartment with large bags and described one of the Syrians as having “frizzy hair”.
An asylum identification card was later found on the scene by investigators and the picture matched the description of a migrant with “frizzy hair” – an act of carelessness that led to the undoing of the pair who had worked so hard to avoid leaving any forensic evidence behind.
Three days after the murder the frizzy haired Syrian was stopped at the German border after he claimed he had boarded the wrong train. Police later were to compare photographs of the victim to that of the Syrian and were able to identify that the migrant was wearing clothing stolen from the Serbian. “Frizzy hair” also had a credit card on him under the name of another Syrian, who when police found him on Facebook was also caught wearing the clothing of the dead Serbian.
This is the latest case of migrant murder in Austria and follows the brutal killing of a cleaning woman earlier this year by an African migrant who had been scheduled for deportation. Several other high profile migrant murders have also taken place in Germany and Sweden this year along with migrants who were linked to terror attacks across the continent.