German town tests DNA of 800 men to track down girl’s killer

The police are conducting a DNA saliva test on a man (policeman) in the murder case of Claudia Ruf in Grevenbroich. Photo: Roland Weihrauch/dpa

Police in the western German town of Grevenbroich started a mass DNA test of men on Saturday in a renewed attempt to identify the killer of an 11-year-old girl more than two decades ago.

Claudia Ruf was sexually abused and strangled in May 1996, and her body was found on a path 70 kilometres away from Grevenbroich in Euskirchen, near Bonn.

A total of 800 men have been asked to submit a saliva sample at a primary school in the town. All were aged between 14 and 70 at the time of the murder.

The test takes a total of ten minutes, and the men are first asked to sign a declaration of consent.

The investigators said that the public was overwhelmingly willing to help and that they were expecting up to 300 men on Saturday.

In 2010, an attempt failed to identify the murderer by collecting saliva samples from 350 men. Specialists have reviewed the case and identified possible new approaches to the investigation.

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