Iraqi Refugee at Large Suspected of Raping and Killing a Jewish Teen in Germany

The 14-year-old girl, who was murdered two weeks ago, was found Wednesday; police say there is no evidence the teen's religion played a role in the crime

German police stand at the area where the girl's body was found near Wiesbaden-Erbenheim, Germany.
\ THORSTEN WAGNER/ REUTERS

A 14-year-old Jewish girl was raped and killed in Germany last week, and her body was recovered on Wednesday. 

Police initially pointed at two suspects: A 35-year-old Turkish asylum seeker and a 20-year-old Iraqi refugee. However, the former was released on Thursday after "new evidence" emerged that exonerated him. 

The body of the girl, identified as Suzanna Feldman from the town of Mainz, was found  in a wooded area by train tracks near the city of Wiesbaden after she was listed as a missing person on May 22, 2018.

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Police said they were looking for the 20-year-old Iraqi suspect, Ali Bashar, who they believe fled to Erbil, Iraq, with his family days ago. They said he had been denied asylum but had not been deported. 

One of the suspects is also suspected of raping an 11-year-old girl, the police noted.

A spokesman for the Wiesbaden police said there was no evidence that the girl's religion played a role in the crime. 

Wiesbaden senior public prosecutor Oliver Kuhn told reporters that both suspects "lived in refugee centers in Wiesbaden," a city on the Rhine river across from Mainz. Kuhn said an autopsy conducted overnight showed the girl had been the victim of a sexual attack. 

Police said they had been tipped off about the location of the body and the identity of one of the suspected attackers by a 13-year-old migrant who came to the Wiesbaden police station on Sunday. 

The Jewish community in Germany as well as the community in the town of Mainz have expressed their shock at the murder and have called on authorities to act rapidly in order to solve the case and bring the suspects to justice. 

The Central Council of Jews in Germany said the girl and her mother were members of the Jewish community in Mainz, but cautioned against reaching premature conclusions about the motive for the crime. 

The group has warned in recent months about an increase in anti-Semitism incidents and attacks, and the German government has created a new post to fight anti-Semitism. 
"Many of the details of the case are still unclear. We expect a rapid and comprehensive investigation from the prosecutorial authorities, and hard consequences for the perpetrator or perpetrators," the council said in a statement.