(MAINNEWS) – German police have arrested a woman on suspicion of murdering a doppelgänger she sought out online in order to fake her own death.
The 23-year-old German-Iraqi woman is being held at a prison in Ingolstadt, southern Germany, in connection with the death of a 23-year-old Algerian woman, Ingolstadt police spokesperson Andreas Aichele told CNN on Tuesday. A 23-year-old Kosovan man is also in custody in connection with the murder.
The parents of the German-Iraqi suspect reported her missing on August 16 last year. Her car was later found in Ingolstadt with the body of a woman inside. She had been stabbed multiple times and her face was disfigured.
Police and her parents initially identified the body as that of the missing woman. However an autopsy and DNA analysis revealed that it was not her, but a different woman who looked “strikingly similar” to her. The victim was later identified as a 23-year-old Algerian woman.
The German-Iraqi woman was arrested on August 18 after police tracked her to the Kosovan man’s apartment, according to police.
“Investigators now assume that the suspect wanted to go into hiding due to family problems and faked her death,” Aichele told CNN.
“The suspects came up with the plan to search online for a woman who looked similar to the German-Iraqi, kill her, and place her in such a way that the corpse would be mistaken for the suspect.”
The German-Iraqi woman, who was a beauty blogger and Instagram influencer, searched online for women who looked like her and tried to “persuade them with false promises to meet her,” according to Aichele.
On January 26 and 27 the Ingolstadt district court issued murder arrest warrants for both suspects, Aichele said.
Police have interviewed several women whom she contacted as part of their investigation. The two suspects, who cannot be named by police in accordance with German privacy laws, are being held in separate prisons.
By Jack Guy and Barbie Latza Nadeau