Search on for body parts after grisly murder

Police are searching for the body parts of a 54-year-old Styrian man, allegedly murdered and hacked to pieces by two employees of Deniz bank in Graz.

Search on for body parts after grisly murder
Graz Provincial Court. Photo: APA
The accused, 29-year-old Halil I. and his younger colleague, 23-year-old Ferhat K., apparently kidnapped their millionaire client from his residence in Graz-Wetzeldorf in February.
Heinz Peter Egger had called the pair to his house to talk, after discovering they had removed around €80,000 from two of his bank accounts.
In a scenario which reads like a CSI plot, the grisly murder appears to have been planned in meticulous detail. Instead of returning the stolen money, the two Turkish-born men – the elder of whom reportedly has a gambling addiction – decided to make the wealthy real estate heir disappear.
The young bankers – both married, and one with a five-year-old daughter – rented a container in a storage compound in Reininghausstrasse, Graz.
After brutally strangling Heinz with a rope, the men took their victim's corpse to the container where they hacked it to pieces with a handsaw. The body parts were then set in concrete in buckets – the same method used by Austrian double murderer and so-called Ice Lady, Estibaliz C to dispose of her victims.

As the search for the body parts continues, the accused are being held in pre-trial detention. Further questioning will be carried out on Monday. 

Until now, the murder suspects have unblemished records, however they appear to have been careless in covering their tracks. Mobile phone records detail their movements and they neglected to clean the rented container.

"We have found DNA and traces of blood from the missing victim," said spokeswoman Barbara Schwarz from the Department of Public Prosecution in Graz. Now the police's first priority is to find the ultimate proof of the macabre crime – the body parts. 
"What is certain is that the victim's corpse was hacked to pieces in a rented container with an ordinary saw from the hardware shop. The murderers then set the parts in concrete and disposed of them," Schwarz said. 
According to Schwarz, all available resources are being put into the search for the body parts, however divers are currently unable to search the Mur River due to flooding. 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


What happens if you get arrested in Austria?

It’s always good to know your legal rights when living as a foreigner in Austria - including if you get in trouble with the police.

What happens if you get arrested in Austria?

Getting arrested is probably not high up on a list of must-dos for international residents in Austria, but it’s not a bad idea to know what would happen if you did.

In a nutshell, the process in Austria is similar to most other countries in that you have to be suspected of committing a crime to be arrested.

But what happens next? What are your rights? And how long can someone be held in custody?

Here’s what you need to know.

FOR MEMBERS: EXPLAINED: What cyclists and drivers in Austria need to know about new rules

When can someone be arrested in Austria?

If someone is suspected of being a criminal, they can be arrested by the police and taken to a police station for questioning. 

Under the Austrian Code of Criminal Procedure, suspects must be informed of their rights as soon as possible, or at the very least before being interrogated by the police.

They also have a right to remain silent or to make a statement, as well as consult a lawyer.

According to Vienna-based attorney Evert Vastenburg, the initial detainment after arrest can last up to 48 hours while a judge decides whether a person should remain in custody or not.

A suspect can then be released on bail or under certain conditions, such as handing over a passport to police.

However, those suspected of serious crimes that typically lead to a prison sentence of 10 years or more (if found guilty) are almost always remanded in custody.

READ MORE: Austria wary of cyber attacks after personal data of foreign residents leaked online

When is someone remanded in custody?

To be refused bail and remanded in custody, there must be serious suspicion that another crime could be committed. 

The judge also must believe there is no other way to deal with the suspect. For example, he/she needs to be readily available to the authorities for questioning.

Another valid reason to keep someone in custody past the initial 48 hours is the risk of someone absconding. In fact, Vastenburg says a flight risk is often assumed with people that do not live and work in Austria.

Other reasons to deny a suspect release are a risk that evidence will be destroyed, witnesses will be contacted, or there is a possibility that further crimes will be committed.

What happens if bail is denied?

If bail is denied and a person must be held in custody for more than 48 hours, they have to be legally represented by a lawyer.

If a suspect can’t afford to hire a lawyer, they will be appointed a Verfahrenshilfe (public defender) by the state.

The case will be then reviewed by a judge on a regular basis to decide if custody should continue.

The first review will take place after 14 days, then at one month and every two months, but a suspect can petition for release at any time.

READ ALSO: Six tourist scams to be aware of in Austria

How many foreigners are in Austrian prisons?

According to data from the Austrian Judiciary, the number of foreigners in Austrian jails as of June 1st 2022 was 4,332 – almost 50 percent of all prisoners.

In relation to the statistics, the Austrian Judiciary states: “The high proportion of foreigners is one of many challenges for the Austrian penal system. 

“In particular, with regard to successful rehabilitation, the fastest possible transfer to the countries of origin is encouraged.

The most common nationality of foreign prisoners in Austria is Romanian, followed by people from the former Yugoslavian states, Hungary, Nigeria and Turkey.