In a bizarre investigation, German police have asked about 900 men to submit DNA samples in a bid to solve a 23-year-old murder case.
11-year-old Grevenbroich resident Claudia Ruf was kidnapped, raped and then choked to death in 1996 in a case that caused widespread alarm and media frenzy in Germany at the time. Her body had been recovered in Euskirchen, about 70 kms south of her hometown in western Germany.
The police are now collecting saliva swabs of all the men aged 14 to 70 at the time of the crime to match DNA evidence found on the victim's body in an attempt to find the killer. Cops recently went door to door in Grevenbroich asking questions and requesting the men to show up for the testing.
While the procedure is a long shot as the killer is not likely to volunteer his DNA for analysis, the cops hope that a relative of the killer might turn up, which could aid authorities in tracking down the killer. The cops also confirmed that the 900 hundred men being tested were not all suspects but that the mass testing was meant to flush out the killer.
This isn't the first time that investigators have turned to science for the case. A group of 350 men had previously been tested in the area in 2010 but in vain. It remains unclear if the new batch of 900 includes the 350 previously tested or not.
Claudia Ruf was kidnapped by an unknown assailant when she took her neighbour's dog out for a walk in 1996. Days later, remains of her charred body had been found. She had been choked to death and her body burnt with gasoline. The case caused a national frenzy and remains unsolved despite 23 years.