The Helsinki police have made progress in the investigation of the homicide perpetrated on the night of 4 December in a park in the vicinity of the Koskela hospital (north Helsinki) by three 16-year-old boys.
The victim was another boy of the same age, who died after being beaten to death all over the body and subjected to physical humiliation in a "cruel" and "brutal" manner, as described by the investigators of the case. His lifeless body was found the following Monday by construction workers.
The three suspects were arrested by the police the same day the body was found and later jailed. The victim was a child protection client and had been placed to live away from home, the police said Friday in a press release.
The police refer extensively to the "social significance" and the "seriousness" of this case. But even so, the information released so far is quite vague and raises more questions than answers.
For example, the director of the Helsinki police investigation, Marko Forss, said that the assault lasted "several tens of minutes" (sic) and that "various and numerous wounds caused in different ways" were found on the victim's body, without more details.
According to the Police, the victim was subjected to "intense and prolonged violence", but the investigators refuse also to report on the type of violence carried out.
The victim's body was found on Monday 7 December lying on the ground, "with some of his clothes removed" in the same place where he was abandoned by the assaulters.
Disposing the victim's body
Based on their preliminary inquiries, the police believe that the three arrested minors participated in the attack. But - again - they reject specifying the role played by each of them.
What the press release does say is that at least two of the suspects returned to the scene of the crime the next day to "see if he (the victim) was breathing." The suspects also removed evidence from the scene, such as the beer cans they had been drinking there the night before.
After the murder and before being arrested, the three suspects discussed the events and considered the option of hiding or disposing of the victim's body in some way.
For the police it seems clear that they all knew each other. In fact, they had met that day to celebrate the birthday of one of them.
The police believe that both the dead and the assailants had been victims of bullying in the past.