Girl raped and murdered in care home had been removed from her family

The tragic life of little Lena: Girl, ten, raped and murdered in German care home had been removed from her family after abuse, then bullied by boy who would eventually go on to kill her after she was raped ‘by burglar’

  • Boy, 11, strangled Lena, ten, to death at a children’s care home in Germany
  • Lena was taken away from her family and sent to home amid allegations of abuse

The 10-year-old girl who was raped and murdered in a German children’s home had been taken away from her family amid allegations of abuse – only to be bullied by the 11-year-old boy who would eventually go on to strangle her to death, it has emerged.

The victim, identified only as Lena, would be bullied and teased by her future killer so much so that she would often spend her time crying. 

The abuse reached its climax in April when Lena was found half-naked and unresponsive at the child and youth welfare facility in Wunsiedel, in Germany’s Bavaria region, with police suspecting the 11-year-old killed her. 

And tragically, shortly before she was killed, it has emerged that a 25-year-old German man, who has been identified only as Daniel T, raped the 10-year-old when he came across her while trying to steal from the children’s home.

But now it has emerged that Lena had a tragic childhood, with her parents divorcing when she was just five years old, according to family friends. 

Lena, who enjoyed swimming and horse riding, lived with her mother and her new partner in eastern Germany but was taken away from her family to live at the children’s home when allegations of abuse at the home emerged, reports Bild. 

Her father had fought for custody of Lena so that she could live with him, but the courts refused and placed her under the care of the children’s care home in Wunsiedel in October last year. 

But it was at this care home that tragic Lena was bullied incessantly by the 11-year-old boy and his friends.

Lena, who was raped and murdered in a German children’s home, had been taken away from her family amid allegations of abuse – only to be bullied by the 11-year-old boy who would eventually go on to strangle her to death, it has emerged (file image of the children’s home) 

Daniel T, 25, accused of raping the girl, 10, is pictured on the left. Ulrike Scharf (on right), family affairs minister, leaves the Child and Youth Care Center to lay flowers in front of the facility in April 

‘Lena was teased by a lot of people, even quite often. And just because she was a bit fatter, I always thought that was really mean from the others. That’s why Lena cried a lot,’ a nine-year-old boy who was also bullied by the 11-year-old told Bild.

After months of bullying, the 11-year-old boy allegedly strangled the little girl to death on April 4 after they got into an argument. 

German police have also revealed that Daniel T, 25, who is said to be a garbage collector, allegedly entered the welfare facility through an open bathroom window on the night the victim was killed. 

Daniel T, who lives locally, was allegedly trying to steal from the children’s home when he came across the 11-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl. Police suspect the burglar sexually assaulted the victim before leaving the facility, reports Onetz

On that same night, prosecutors say the 11-year-old boy, who was the girl’s roommate, got into an argument with the victim and murdered her. They do not believe Daniel T was involved in her killing. 

The boy is not yet at the age of criminal responsibility, which is 14, so has been kept in a secure facility since April. 

Tragically, Lena’s father, who has not been named, had planned to take his daughter on a short holiday on the Thursday – two days after she was murdered. 

‘Her father hoped to be able to bring Lena home with him soon,’ Sandra B, 33, who is friends with Lena’s father, told Bild.

‘Lena was fun-loving, a math professional. She could play the piano, enjoyed swimming, cycling, rollerblading and horseback riding,’ Sandra B added. 

Lena’s friend, a nine-year-old boy who had lived at the children’s home, said: ‘Lena was my friend. I liked her very much, she was nice and sweet. She didn’t scream as loudly as others either. And she did really well in school, not like me.’ 

The boy, who remains anonymous, said Lena had been bullied by the 11-year-old boy who would eventually kill her. The nine-year-old also revealed that he had also been targeted by the killer and attacked with a baseball bat before his parents brought him home. 

‘The caretaker was cleaning the roof once and huge clumps of mud fell down. The 11-year-old boy, who had such dark curls, then took it and threw it at me. 

‘When I told him to stop, I usually tell the teachers, he ran to a bush and pulled out a hidden baseball bat. He then hit me in the back, really hard. It hurt so bad for days.’

The nine-year-old victim claims when he told staff, they had told him it was ‘his own fault’. 

He also claimed that the 11-year-old boy would often watch violent films in the children’s home. ‘He then said he watches films about how people are murdered without seeing any blood,’ the little boy said.  

A police patrol car blocks off the road to the child and youth care centre in Wunsiedel in April 

At the time Lena was allegedly strangled to death, she and the 11-year-old boy had been one of a few children left at the home at the time of the murder because most of the other youngsters living there were on a skiing holiday, reports Bild. Sandra said Lena had not gone on the ski trip because she was ‘scared’ of the slopes.

Shortly before she was murdered, Lena was allegedly raped by Daniel T and last month prosecutors brought charges against the 25-year-old for rape, burglary and arson. 

He is suspected of committing five burglaries between 2022 and 2023 and stealing construction machinery worth £13,700 (16,000 euros) from containers, which he set on fire to try to remove evidence. 

At the time of the girl’s murder, the child and youth welfare centre in the small town of Wunsiedel, home to around 90 children and teenagers, said it was ‘deeply shocked’ by her death. 

‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the parents, the family, our children and our colleagues,’ it said in a statement. 

Shortly after the little girl’s murder, Sandra said: ‘I am stunned, speechless. I am at a loss for words. I can’t understand why it happened like this.

‘And that [it happened] in a home where supervision would have been there, where as a parent you think everything is fine.’

On its website, the institute describes itself as supporting ‘young people and their families who need help with their upbringing’.

Lena’s brutal murder came just a month after the killing of 12-year-old Luise Frisch, who was found dead in the western town of Freudenberg in March after suffering multiple stab wounds.

Her killers, named as Luisa Halberstadt, 13, and Anna-Marie Hoffman, 12, stabbed their victim 32 times with a nail file before pushing her down a steep embankment in nearby woods.

The classmates also put a plastic bag over Luise’s head before one chillingly told the other to ‘hit her with a stone or she would be lying next to her’.

The pair confessed to the crime but will avoid punishment as they are too young to bear criminal responsibility in Germany.  

Police fear Luise may have been alive before she was thrown down the embankment and died from her injuries and the sub zero conditions that hit the area in early March.

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