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Sarah Papenheim Murder Suspect: Who Killed American College Student?

Sarah Papenheim selfie


Sarah Papenheim, a 21-year-old American college student, has died after she was stabbed while studying abroad in the Netherlands.

What Happened To Sarah Papenheim?

Papenheim, from Andover, Minnesota, was studying psychology at Erasmus University in Rotterdam when she was stabbed and killed by a 23-year-old man in her apartment in Rotterdam on Wednesday, December 12.

via The Star Tribune:

Witnesses heard arguing and screams in her third-floor room before the stabbing, police told the newspaper. Papenheim’s roommate, a 23-year-old man from Rotterdam, was arrested after trying to flee, police said.

Police caught up with the roommate after he got off a train with a large string-instrument case in Eindhoven, about 65 miles southeast of Rotterdam, police told the newspaper. Police have yet to reveal a possible motive and are still trying to determine why the suspect chose Eindhoven as his destination.

Speaking to FOX, Papenheim’s mother said that police found “her in a bath of blood, stabbed to death and beat up and stabbed for no reason.”

GoFundMe account has since been set up to pay for Papenheim’s funeral expenses. At the time of this writing, the fundraiser has raised over $25,000 in just 22 hours.

Who Is The Murder Suspect?

According to Dutch police, Papenheim was killed by a 23-year-old man who lived in the same building as the victim and was arrested just an hour after Papenheim’s body was found. Police believe that Papenheim and the suspect were acquaintances prior to the murder.

According to the The Star Tribune, Papenheim and the suspect were roommates:

Papenheim’s mother said police and her daughter’s boyfriend told her the roommate in the “last couple of weeks was getting more and more angry.” Odegard said her daughter arrived in Rotterdam in 2016 and became the man’s roommate about a year ago. She was excited to be living with another musician.

“They’d talk music all night,” she said. “They kinda clicked on that. Then as time went on, he’d get highs and lows.”

A few days before the killing, Odegard (Papenheim’s mother) continued, “two people from mental health came over, but she shooed them away because she was afraid he would think she called them.”

She said she told her daughter, “ ‘Get out of there,’ but she wouldn’t listen to me.” On the morning of the stabbing, Odegard said, Papenheim went to the apartment to retrieve some clothes for school and to take them back to her boyfriend’s place, “and that’s when we think it happened.”

At this time, the suspect’s identity has not been released and a motive has not been identified.

Our deepest condolences go out to Papenheim’s friends and family during this incredibly difficult time.

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