Hansjörg Mayr, spokesman for the Innsbruck public prosecutor, told Austrian media that the suspect was questioned by a judge on Thursday and confessed to having battered 59-year-old Helmut H. to death with a stone after the pair had an argument. He said that he then buried the body in the victim’s allotment.
According to the prosecutor’s office the accused denies that he intended to kill the victim, and Mayr told the ORF that it was still unclear what his motive for the murder was. An investigation is still ongoing and DNA evidence from the crime scene is being analyzed.
The 44-year-old suspect has been given pre-trial detention.
The murder made headlines in Austria after the victim’s son and a friend who were filming on the allotment accidentally stumbled over the body, which was wrapped in a blanket and buried in a shallow grave.
The 59-year-old man from Innsbruck had been missing for weeks, and his family had not been able to reach him on his mobile phone. The allotment had already been searched twice by a police team with sniffer dogs, who had failed to find the body.
A European arrest warrant was issued for the 44-year-old South Tyrolian man, who was reportedly the last person to have seen the victim on his allotment, the day he disappeared. He was arrested on April 23rd near to a bed and breakfast in Munich.