23-year-old Joel Schelling was arrested on Wednesday, December 12 at the Eindhoven Railway Station on in connection to the murder of 21-year-old American college student Sarah Papenheim.
What Happened To Sarah Papenheim?
Papenheim — an Andover, Minnesota native — was studying psychology at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, when she was fatally stabbed to death by the 23-year-old Schelling in her apartment on Wednesday, December 12.
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.
Papenheim’s mother tolx FOX said that Rotterdam police found her daughter “in a bath of blood, stabbed to death and beat up and stabbed for no reason.”
A GoFundMe that was set up to pay for Papenheim’s funeral expenses has raised over $25,000 in just 22 hours.
Who Is Joel Schelling?
According to Dutch police, Papenheim was killed by Schelling, who lived in the same building as the victim. Police believe that Papenheim and Schelling knew each other prior to the murder.
According to reports from The Star Tribune, Schelling was Papenheim’s roommate.
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.”
We extend our thoughts and prayers to Papenheim’s friends and family during this incredibly difficult time.