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Swedish murder suspect on trial after genealogical DNA matching

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Swedish double murder suspect continues trial after police compared him to crime scene DNA on a genealogical website

  • Daniel Nyqist is accused of killing a woman and an eight-year-old boy in 2004
  • He confessed to the killings after being arrested based on DNA evidence
  • The change in Swedish law allowed authorities to search a genealogical database

A Swedish suspect for double murder was tried today in a 16-year-old case that remained unsolved until police placed him with the DNA of the crime scene on a genealogy website.

Daniel Nyqist, who confessed to the killings following his arrest last June, has been charged with the 2004 murder of a 56-year-old woman and an eight-year-old boy.

The two were stabbed in a random act one morning in the quiet Swedish town of Linkoping in the south, in a crime that rocked the country.

After years of fruitless investigations, police arrested 37-year-old Nyqvist after a law change allowed them to search for the DNA they found at the crime scene on the Gedmatch and Family Tree websites.

A court sketch shows far-right Daniel Nyqvist and his lawyer Johan Ritzer in a court in Sweden today where Nyqvist is facing a double murder charge based on DNA evidence

A court sketch shows far-right Daniel Nyqvist and his lawyer Johan Ritzer in a court in Sweden today where Nyqvist is facing a double murder charge based on DNA evidence

Crime has long plagued the nation with investigators unable to find any perpetrators or motives despite finding DNA.

Police also found the murder weapon, a bloody cap and eyewitness accounts of a young man with yellow hair, and even called the FBI for help, but to no avail.

The issue was finally raised when new legislation in January 2019 allowed police to search for matches for suspects’ DNA on commercial genealogy websites, which are popular among Swedes looking for their long-lost relatives .

‘We got a match almost immediately. And a few months later, the suspect could be arrested. His DNA was taken and matched 100 percent, ‘police said in a statement the day after his arrest.

Nyqvist, whose brother was also briefly suspected based on the DNA match, later confessed to the double murder.

At the time the 21-year-old, he admitted obsessive thoughts about the murder and that he chose his victims at random, first stabbing the boy and then the woman.

According to investigators, he had lived an isolated life near Linkoping since the killings.

An unemployed hermit who liked to play computer games, Nyquist rarely went out of his parents’ house, media reports say.

Medical experts have concluded that he suffers from a serious psychiatric disorder and did it at the time of the crime. If convicted, he will be punished with psychiatric care.

The Linkoping assassination case file became the second largest in Swedish history after the assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986 (pictured)

The Linkoping assassination case file became the second largest in Swedish history after the assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986 (pictured)

The case shocked Sweden, which has long maintained a reputation as one of the safest countries in the world.

Over the years, the case file has grown to become the second largest in Swedish history, following the assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986.

Earlier this year, prosecutors announced they were closing the Palme case and named graphic designer Stig Engstrom as the prime suspect.

Engstrom, who died in 2000, had long been known to Swedes as ‘Scandia Man’ after the insurance firm with offices near the shooting, where the suspect worked.

But the end of the Palme saga in June left many Swedes unhappy as prosecutors admitted the evidence would be too much money for a trial.

Decades of speculation about Palme’s death had included theories that he was killed by South African security services or Kurdish separatists.

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