LONDON: A 23-year-old woman has been accused of stabbing to death an Algerian beauty blogger in Germany in a bid to fake her own death.
The woman, identified by German police as Shahraban K, who is of Iraqi descent, is accused of stabbing her victim, identified as Khadidja O, 50 times, leaving her face completely disfigured.
Shahraban K then left the body in her Mercedes in a bid to make it appear that she was in fact the murder victim.
She and her accomplice, her boyfriend identified as Sheqir K, face life in prison if convicted.
The attack, which took place in the German city of Ingolstadt in August, happened after Shahraban K tracked down Khadidja O on social media because of similarities in appearance between the two.
It is thought Shahraban K wanted to fake her own death and go into hiding to escape a family issue. She established multiple social media accounts to contact other women who resembled her, one of whom was Khadidja O.
German prosecutors say Shahraban K and Sheqir K befriended Khadidja O, who lived in Heilbronn, and one evening drove her to a forest outside Ingolstadt where the murder took place.
The disfigurement of the face was a deliberate part of the plan, with police only becoming aware of the victim’s true identity after an autopsy was performed, having initially believed it to be the body of Shahraban K after being alerted to her disappearance by her parents.
Ingolstadt-based prosecutor Veronika Grieser told Bild: “It has been confirmed that the accused had contacted several women via Instagram before the act who seemed to look similar to her.
“It can be assumed that the suspect wanted to go into hiding, due to internal disputes with her family, and fake her own death.”
An Ingolstadt police spokesman said: “The victim was lured out of the vehicle as planned under a pretext, and killed in a wooded area with a large number of stabs in the body.
“The accused then continued their journey to Ingolstadt, where the body was found on the evening of Aug. 16. It was found lying in the vehicle.”
Another police spokesperson told Bild: “The murder weapon has still not been found but the burden of proof is overwhelming.
“The victim was killed with more than 50 stab wounds and her face was badly injured. That was brutal in the extreme.
“It was an extraordinary case that required all the investigators’ skills. We don’t have a case like this every day, especially with such a spectacular twist. On the day we found the body, we did not expect it to develop like this.”