Police have completed a preliminary investigation into the suspected murder by three teenagers of a 16-year-old boy in the Koskela district of Helsinki, and the case file has been sent forward to prosecutors.
During the course of the preliminary investigation, police say they have found evidence that the victim was subjected to a prolonged period of bullying by the three suspects, which eventually resulted in his death on the night of 4 December 2020.
Police further believe that the suspects forced the victim to drink alcohol on the night of the suspected murder, with the intention of violently attacking him.
According to police, the violence is suspected to have started shortly after the suspects and the victim arrived at the Koskela hospital area, and lasted for about 3-4 hours. One of the suspects left the area at one point, but later returned.
"Violence against the victim is suspected to have been committed by all, in addition to which a number of humiliating acts were filmed and shared between the suspects on Snapchat. The police are not aware if the material has been distributed to other people," Detective Inspector Marko Forss said.
Police: Suspects acted together
Two of the suspects in the case have claimed that the third suspect also subjected them to acts of violence, which led to police investigating two assault charges in addition to the suspected murder charge.
Despite these claims, police believe the murder was committed by all three suspects. The trio left the scene together and also discussed the victim’s death in the following days, which led to some of them returning to the scene to check on the victim's condition.
The alleged crime only came to light on the morning of Monday 7 December, when the victim's body was discovered by builders in an area near the hospital where apartment buildings were under construction.
The victim was a client of child welfare services, and his failure to return to his residence on the evening of 4 December led to the Child Welfare Department making a request for official assistance to the police on Saturday 5 December.
Three previous assaults prior to suspected murder
Police believe the suspects violently attacked the victim in the area of Koskela Hospital on at least three separate occasions prior to the night of 4 December.
The first such incident occurred on Friday 6 November, when police believe two of the suspects assaulted the victim in the vicinity of Koskela hospital. A drug offence is also suspected to have occurred in relation to this incident.
One week later, on Friday 13 November, all three suspects implicated in the murder charge attacked the victim before a third suspected assault took place on Friday 20 November.
According to police, the motive for the suspected murder and assaults was punishment for the victim’s actions or alleged actions.
"The acts can be considered sadistic and they have been committed at the expense of a defenceless victim. There are several humiliating elements associated with these events," Detective Inspector Forss said.
The deadline for the prosecution to file charges is 5 February.