Afghan immigrant is arrested in Germany after he raped and killed 19-year-old Girl Maria Ladenburger
The family of an EU official's teenage daughter who was allegedly raped and murdered by an Afghan migrant in Germany has asked for well-wishers to donate money to a refugee charity.
Medical student Maria Ladenburger, who had also taken time out to help asylum seekers as a volunteer, was found dead in a river in the south-western German university city of Freiburg in October.
The first picture has since emerged of Hussein K., the 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker who was arrested on suspicion of the rape and murder after a hair matching the alleged perpetrator was found at the crime scene.
As the 19-year-old student's family tries to come to terms with their loss, they have asked for donations to be made to an organisation that aids refugees.
Maria, 19, worked in her spare time in the ancient university city of Freiburg helping out the migrants in various shelters and homes. But in October, as she cycled home after a party, she was ambushed, raped and then drowned in a river.
In an obituary published in a German daily newspaper, Maria's family wrote: 'For 19 years Maria was a ray of sunshine for our family and it will stay that way. We are grateful for this gift of her life with us, and we are certain that she is safe now with God.'
The family writes that with 'a heavy heart, but at the same time with firm hope we say farewell to our dearest beloved daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and cousin.'
But as well as the message of farewell, the Ladenburger family asked for donations to a few charities.
As well as a project of the Catholic Church in Bangladesh they point at a student initiative in Freiburg. The organisation, called 'weitblick' ('wide view'), writes on their website that they support refugees and asylum seekers with family sponsorships.
They make regular excursions and activities with asylum seekers and also look after a small multilingual library on site. The organisation also gives courses to pupils to educate them about the issues of refugees and migration.
The killing has sparked frenzied new waves of hatred and fear of refugees.
Even the boss of the country's police union said her death would have been prevented had the open door asylum-seeker policy of Chancellor Angela Merkel been less lax than it is.
There has been little or no vetting of refugees pouring into the country.
The killing is the biggest jolt to Mrs Merkel's plans for integration since the frenzied sexual assaults of New Year's Eve in Cologne when mobs of immigrant men sexually molested and robbed hundreds of defenceless women.
The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has been quick to piggyback on Hussein K.'s arrest to highlight what it says are the dangers of unregulated immigration. It calls Maria a 'victim of Merkel's welcome culture.'
Hussein K. was born in Ghazni in Afghanistan and came to Germany as an illegal unaccompanied minor in November 2015.
In numerous posts on the Internet he liked to present himself in the guise of a gangsta rapper: hair slicked back with gel, jogging pants and training shoes.
On Facebook, before the killing of Maria on October 16, he wore his hair long but it was cut back after the crime.
A single strand of it was found at the crime scene but he left other traces of his DNA behind too.
Another disturbing photo he posted on his Facebook page in June shows a wolfman clutching a young maiden in his arms.
Detectives on the 60 strong murder squad are still probing the possibility that he knew Maria through her work with refugees.
Her family, in an obituary notice after her cruel death, asked for people to donate money to charities, including those which work with migrants.
At the time of her murder Hussein K. was still 16. Her body was found in the Dreisam River less than one mile from the student accommodation where she lived.
Intensive scrutiny of CCTV cameras in the town coupled with the DNA evidence at the scene led to his arrest on Friday last week.
He is on remand in a juvenile jail where he will be held until his trial expected early next year.
There were conflicting reports at the weekend that he had confessed to the crime but the prosecutor now says: 'He has remained silent. He has demanded a lawyer before he says he will say anything.'