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9-year-old Ukrainian found dead in Germany, police investigate homicide

Valeriia and her mother moved to Germany in 2022 to escape the war in Ukraine, while her father remained in Ukraine serving on the front line according to his own words. The girl was missing for over a week since 3 June after she did not return home after school where she had not come at all that morning.
German police
German police. Illustrative photo. Source: Tagesschau
9-year-old Ukrainian found dead in Germany, police investigate homicide

German police confirmed on 12 June that the body they found in the wooded area the day before is identified through autopsy as nine-year-old Valeriia from Ukraine, who had been missing for over a week, according to Tagesschau. 

Valeriia’s body was found during a search operation “far from any forest paths, deep in the underbrush,” said Mandy Kürschner, head of the Chemnitz Criminal Police Inspectorate. 

According to initial findings by investigators, the girl was killed, and a homicide investigation is currently underway. There are no indications of a sexual offense or any suspects at this time.

“We will make every effort to find the perpetrator. We owe that to Valeriia and her family,” said Carsten Kaempf, Chemnitz police chief as per Tagesschau. 

The investigation is focusing on the family’s close social circle, and known repeat offenders are being checked by the police. 

Search operation for over a week

Valeriia was living with her mother in Döbeln, Saxony since 2022, after fleeing the war in Ukraine. She was last seen on 3 June on her way to elementary school, however she did not show up for class and the school failed to notify her mother about this. 

On 5 June, a witness came forward and claimed to have heard screams from a wooded area two days earlier.

While the search was ongoing, Valeriia’s father assumed she was kidnapped and appealed via video to possible kidnappers asking them to return “their beloved child.”

Despite missing person reports on TV shows and a large-scale search operation involving over 400 police officers, no concrete leads were found until the body was discovered on 11 June. 

The police stated that the mother of the murdered girl is currently receiving psychological support, and there is contact with her father, who lives in Ukraine and serves as a soldier at the front, according to his own statements. 

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