Susanna Feldman was only 14 with a long, happy life ahead of her when she was strangled, raped, and killed in Germany. She had gone out with friends and never returned. Now, police have issued an international warrant for the 20-year-old suspected in her murder. The suspect, Ali Bashar, and his family fled Germany, where they were living as refugees, and returned to Iraq. Here is what we know so far about Susanna Maria Feldman and what happened.
1. Susanna Maria Feldman’s Disappearance Wasn’t Investigated as a Crime at First Because She Sometimes Missed School
Susanna Maria Feldman, 14, was reported missing on May 23. She had gone out with friends the night before she disappeared. Tragically, her disappearance wasn’t treated as a criminal investigation at first because she frequently missed school, as teenagers her age sometimes do, authorities said. However, they did treat her disappearance as urgent due to health problems, a local newspaper reported, and were concerned that she might have been traveling abroad. She was missing for nearly two weeks before her body was found.
Her body was found near train tracks outside of Wiesbaden, north of Mainz. Originally, two men were suspected in her murder and rape, a Turkish national, 35, and Ali Bashar, a 20 year-old Iraqi immigrant, Israel National News reported. German police took the first man into custody, but Bashar was still at large. Feldman appeared to have been strangled, authorities said.
2. A 13-Year-Old Refugee Alerted Police to the Suspect’s Identity
Local German news outlets identified the suspect, Bashar, as her boyfriend, but this later was shown not to be accurate. She may have known his brother in some way, The Times of Israel reported. Her Facebook page has no public mentions of a boyfriend, nor does it include posts of any guy friends she might have. Bashar was first mentioned as a suspect when a 13-year-old refugee came to police and told them that Bashar had raped and killed Feldman, CNN reported.
Friends and loved ones created a memorial for her where her body was found:
3. Susanna Feldman’s Mother, Diana Feldman, Said ‘There Is Nothing Worse for a Mother in the World’
Diana Feldman, Susanna’s mother, had been posting messages on Facebook after her beloved daughter went missing. She wrote on May 25, while authorities were still searching for her daughter: “There is nothing worse for a mother in the world than not to know where her child is.”
Her mother posted frequent updates, heartbroken about her daughter’s disappearance. She wrote one day: “Today is … already the 11th day!!! Every night is a nightmare and hell for us! Her little sister misses her.”
4. Susanna Adored Her Family & Her Baby Sister, & Now a Donation Account Has Been Set Up to Help Them
Susanna’s baby sister is only about five years old, and Susanna absolutely adored her. She often posted photos of her sister on Facebook, glowing about how much she loved her. In 2015 she posted a series of photos and wrote (via a Google translation): “Today is your birthday! Today you’ve become 2!,” with hearts and happy emoticons.
Susanna’s Facebook page shows a happy girl, excited about life and proud of her family. But now her page has been turned into a memorial, and that life has been cut heartbreakingly short.
Now, a donation account has been set up to help the family, via a page similar to GoFundMe. On Leetchi, the account is more than halfway to its goal.
You can donate to the account here. The fund will help the family pay for a funeral for their daughter.
5. Ali Bashar, Who Was Previously Suspected of a Rape, Fled the Country with His Family & Was Arrested in Iraq
Ali Bashar had been living at a shelter for refugees in Wiesbaden’s Erbenheim district, according to authorities. He had been living in Germany since October 2015, but he left on June 2 with his parents and five siblings and had reportedly fled to Iraq via Istanbul. The family fled by flying out of Duesseldorf Airport, even though the names on their plane tickets used different names than what was on their residence documents, AFP and CNN reported. They were able to get on the plane because their identity was only checked against the photos on their papers, police said.
An international arrest warrant was issued for Bashar. He was arrested by Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq after the warrant was issued, AFP reported. Authorities are seeking his return to Germany for trial, but there is no extradition agreement between Germany and Iraq.
Bashar had a history of violence and was suspected in the rape of an 11-year-old girl, Israel National News reported. He was also known for playing a role in a robbery done at knifepoint in the region. AFP reported that with his history, he should have been expelled from Germany months earlier. The publication Bild reported: “The government should beg for forgiveness from Susanna’s parents…”
The Central Council of Jews in Germany said in a statement: “A young life has been put in a cruel way. Our deep compassion applies to relatives and friends. Susanna was a member of the Jewish community of Mainz. At present much of the background is still unclear. We expect the law enforcement authorities to provide rapid and comprehensive information as well as tough consequences for the perpetrators.”
This is a developing story.