The police believe abduction of Hagen is staged
The police believe that the abduction of Anne-Elisabeth Hagen can be staged in order to hide a murder. They have thus changed their main theory. The family lawyer does not share this perception.
“It is most likely still to be a serious criminal offence, but we are less likely faced with an economically motivated abduction. The main hypothesis has changed to that she is murdered,” Police Inspector Tommy Brøske states at a press conference on Wednesday.
The Police Inspector does, however, not rule out that Hagen is abducted, but says that that hypothesis is «significantly weakened».
Abduction is not ruled out
The police have only worked according to the current main theory for a short time. Brøske emphasises that there are no single events behind the change.
Police refer to the long time that has passed, lack of signs of life, choice of a poorly-suited communication platform for negotiation and total absence of contact in recent months.
Hagen disappeared at the end of October last year, and since January this year, there has been no contact with those who both claim to have abducted her and demanded a ransom.
The police explain that the main hypothesis does not change how they work on the case to any significant extent.
Support lawyer of the Hagen family disagrees
Support Lawyer for the Hagen family, Svein Holden, does not share the police’s perception of what, supposedly, has happened to Anne-Elisabeth Hagen.
“That the police virtually states that there has never been a kidnapping, but that there has been a staged kidnapping to hide a murder – that notion I do not share,” Holden informs.
On a direct question whether he agrees with the police when they state that «they doubt it is an abduction»,” he disagrees.
Holden has spoken with the Hagen family after the press conference, and the support lawyer says none of them feels as if they are regarded as suspects.
the former crime inspector, Johnny Brenna, has several questions after the latest developments:
“The police have been very clear that it has been a kidnapping, and when it leaves that theory, these questions arise – What is the motive for the murder? Why were the perpetrators there? What was the mission, and what went wrong,” he tells VG.
Author and former police investigator, Jørn Lier Horst, tells VG that he believes that the new information from the police is startling, but that it doesn’t come as a big surprise.
“This comes from an absence of affirmation of the abduction. When you, among other things, no longer have any contact with the other party, it seems more and more likely that it is staged, in order to hide another criminal act,” he concludes.
During the press conference, the police also come up with more details about the threat letter that was found in the family home at Lørenskog. They believe that they have sound evidence as to where the paper is produced and sold, but will not comment on the particulars.
“We do, however, not rule out that the sheet of paper has been sold in Norway,” Brøske admits.
He will not comment on whether anyone is charged or suspected in the case.
A grey van, observed at the home of the Hagen couple the fateful day, has still not been identified. It is still of interest to the police,” Brøske concludes.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today