Double child murderers jailed for life
8 December 2003
AACHEN – Two men who abducted and killed a brother and sister in a crime which shocked Germany were jailed for life by a court in Aachen Monday.
The court found 33-year-old Markus Lewendel and 28-year-old Markus Wirtz guilty of the murder of the 11-year-old boy and his nine-year- old sister, named only as Tom and Sonja, in March.
They were accused of murder, abduction and serious sexual assault on the girl.
The court ruled that the two men should not be released from jail after serving the minimum 15 years of their life sentences.
The search for the missing children and the subsequent discoveries of their bodies had raised strong emotions in Germany. During their trial, the defendants were protected in court by a glass screen.
Tom and Sonja had failed to return home after playing at a nearby abandoned mine in Eschweiler, 10 kilometres from Aachen, on 30 March.
The boy’s body was found at a road rest stop 15 kilometres away the following day. After a week-long police search, Sonja’s body was discovered in a wood about 100 kilometres south of Eschweiler.
Both men, next-door neighbours in Eschweiler, confessed to the killings after their arrest in Switzerland on 17 April.
Subject: German news