(NewsNation) — A woman is behind bars after Bavarian authorities say she killed someone who looked “strikingly similar” to herself to fake her own death in Germany. Local media dubbed the case the “doppelganger murder.”
On Aug. 16, the suspect’s family found what they initially thought was their loved one’s body inside her car in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt. As police received tips about the killing, serious doubts were raised about the identity of the victim following an autopsy and forensic comparisons.
The suspect’s father told German newspaper Bild that the police eventually visited the family and told them their daughter was still alive.
Days after the body was discovered, investigators arrested the family’s 23-year-old daughter and a 23-year-old man on suspicion of manslaughter. The names of the victim and the suspects have not been released by authorities due to privacy restrictions.
Police now assume the female suspect wanted to fake her own death and go into hiding to escape family problems.
“It seems here that this is a case of someone trying to fake their own death and assume a different identity. … When police figured out that it was not her in the trunk of her car, they were able to locate her and connect her to this crime because she apparently left a digital trail,” Caitlyn Becker, senior reporter for DailyMail.com, told NewsNation host Ashleigh Banfield on Wednesday night on “Banfield.”
In an update shared Monday, they said the suspects devised a plan to search online for a woman who looked like the female suspect, kill the look-alike and position her in a way that the body would be mistaken for the suspect.
Investigators report that the suspect contacted several young women who looked similar to her over social media and tried persuading them to meet her with “false promises.”
At the start of August, she reached out to the victim and arranged to meet on Aug. 16. That’s when police say she and her co-defendant picked up the victim at her home in the greater Heilbronn area.
From there, investigators say the victim was lured out of the car and stabbed to death in a wooded area. According to police, the suspects then traveled to Ingolstadt where the body was eventually found lying in the car on Aug. 16.
Now, the suspects’ charges are expected to be raised to jointly committed murder. They are being held in different prisons.
The investigation into the unusual case is ongoing.