Cops Solve Cold Case With Fresh Appeal To ID Tattoo

Story By: Koen Berghuis, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News

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Picture Credit: CEN

Police have managed to solve the 10-year-old murder of a man who was hacked to pieces and dumped in a river thanks to a mysterious tattoo on one of his body parts.

The unidentified corpse was found in June 2008 by a pedestrian who spotted a suspicious blue rubbish bag floating down a river in Amay, a town in the Belgian province of Liege.

When cops removed the bag from the river, they found the dismembered body parts of an unidentified man thought to be in his 40s.

They discovered multiple stab injuries on the torso, but the man’s arms and legs were not inside the rubbish bag.

The only clue the police had to go on was a tattoo with the names ‘Peter and Sabine’ alongside a small heart.

As the bag had ‘heavy-duty 120-litre rubbish bag’ written on it in German, police assumed that the victim could have been a German national instead of a Belgian, given their close proximity to the border.

A TV report on the German version of ‘Crimewatch UK’ in 2009 failed to produce any significant results.

However, when cops decided to put the case on TV again, in 2018 – a decade after the murder – their luck changed.

An old friend of the victim called the police to say that he recognised the tattoo.

He identified the victim as 46-year-old Peter J. and claimed that ‘Sabine’ was an old flame of his.

At the time of his death, police discovered that Peter J. was actually married to a Polish woman identified as Miroslawa S., who has since remarried and adopted a new surname.

German investigators then quizzed the victim’s 37-year-old widow and she reportedly confessed to killing Peter J., although she argued that she had acted in self-defence.

Miroslawa S. said that after killing Peter J. in the town of Bergheim in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia, she called a friend to help hack the body to pieces and to take it across the border into Belgium, according to local media.

However, a local magistrate did not believe the self-defence argument and has ordered Miroslawa S. to be held on remand on suspicion of murder as the investigation continues.

According to local media, her unnamed accomplice is also being investigated although it was not reported if he has been arrested yet.

Koen Berghuis

Editor of DACHS / Benelux desk for Central European News, roving correspondent with a penchant for travel, culture, geopolitics, history and the in-depth story behind the headlines.

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