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German murderer arrested in the Netherlands after going on the run

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By AP
Federal police officers stop cars coming from the Netherlands for an inspectional near the border at the Horbach district in Aachen, Germany, April 6, 2021.
Federal police officers stop cars coming from the Netherlands for an inspectional near the border at the Horbach district in Aachen, Germany, April 6, 2021.   -   Copyright  David Young/dpa via AP

A German man who fled after losing his final appeal of a murder conviction for the 1993 killing of a teenager has been arrested in the Netherlands after more than two days on the run, police and prosecutors said Friday.

Ralf Hoerstemeier, 56, was arrested shortly after midnight at an apartment in Enschede, just over the Dutch border from Germany.

Police had taken the rare step on Wednesday of publicly issuing an appeal for information on Hoerstemeier, who was convicted in January of killing 16-year-old Nicole Schalla nearly three decades ago and sentenced to life imprisonment. A top German court recently upheld the verdict.

Hoerstemeier, who was deemed by authorities not to be a flight risk and allowed to remain free pending his appeal, removed his ankle tag on Tuesday evening.

German police and prosecutors said in a statement that an evaluation of recent location data from the monitoring tag helped firm up suspicions that Hoerstemeier might be at the apartment in Enschede. A car registered to his fiancée was found a few hundred metres from the address, authorities said.

Dutch police went to the apartment and found the fugitive and his fiancée. He was arrested, and authorities say the woman is under investigation.