A German woman is accused of murdering a lookalike she found on Instagram in an elaborate attempt to fake her own death.
The alleged perpetrator — identified only as 23-year-old Sharaban K. — killed beauty blogger Khadidja O., also 23, in Ingolstadt, Germany last August, according to investigators.
Khadidja O. had been brutally stabbed more than 50 times, with her body left on the back seat of Sharaban K.’s Mercedes. Sharaban K. and an accomplice — identified as her boyfriend Sheqir K.— subsequently went into hiding.
When the body was found, police traced the car’s registration to Sharaban K.’s family. Given the corpse had been disfigured, investigators assumed that she was the victim.
However, a subsequent autopsy report uncovered that the actual victim was Khadidja O., prompting an investigation into the bizarre case dubbed “the doppelganger murder” by German media.
This week, police charged Sharaban K. with murder, with prosecutors saying she trawled Instagram in a bid to find a victim who matched her physical appearance.
“It has been confirmed that the accused had contacted several women via Instagram before the act, who seemed to look similar to her,” Attorney General Veronika Grieser told local publication, Bild. “It can be assumed that the suspect wanted to go into hiding, due to internal disputes with her family, and fake her own death.”
According to investigators, Sharaban K. connected with beauty blogger Khadidja O. via Instagram sometime last summer, sending her messages about cosmetics.
She purportedly enticed the victim into meeting up by offering her a set of beauty products.
On the day of the crime, Sharaban K. told her parents that she was going to visit her ex-husband in Munich. Instead, she and her boyfriend Sheqir K. allegedly picked up Khadidja O. in a Mercedes.
At some point, investigators believe they turned off into a forest where Khadidja O. was stabbed more than 50 times. The injuries to her face were so severe that she was rendered unrecognizable.
Sharaban K. and Sheqir K. then allegedly parked the Mercedes in a place where it would be easily discoverable, leaving the body in the backseat.
Police were baffled after learning that the victim was not Sharaban K. as initially suspected. They subsequently looked into her social media correspondences, finding that she had connected with multiple look-a-likes. They formed the theory that she had murdered one of the women in a wild bid to fake her own death.
Sharaban K. was subsequently tracked down and arrested. This week, she was officially charged with murder and faces life in prison if found guilty of the gruesome crime.
Sheqir K. has also been charged as an accomplice and is similarly facing jail time.
Police spokesman Andreas Aichele told Bild: “The murder weapon has still not been found but the burden of proof is overwhelming.”
“The victim was killed with more than 50 stab wounds and her face was badly injured. That was brutal in the extreme,” he added.
“It was an extraordinary case that required all the investigators’ skills. We don’t have a case like this every day, especially with such a spectacular twist. On the day we found the body, we did not expect it to develop like this.”
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