Prague forest double homicide: Weapon traced to Charles University mass shooter

With the suspect on the loose, police have asked the public to come forward with information relating to a murder in Klánovice forest last Friday. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 20.12.2023 11:18:00 (updated on 27.12.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

BREAKING: Dec. 27, 5 p.m.

A police spokesperson has informed Czech news server Deník N that they found a confession letter at the former residence of the perpetrator behind last Thursday’s Prague mass shooting. The contents of the letter admitted to carrying out the Klánovice forest double homicide on Dec. 15.

Over 200 Czech police officers have been combing Klánovice forest on the eastern edge of Prague to search for more clues relating to the brutal murder of a father and two-month-old daughter on Friday (Dec. 15) at 3 p.m. The perpetrator has not been found and Czech Police have appealed to the public for any information that will lead to his or her arrest.

Gunshots in the forest heard at about 3 p.m. brought police to the scene, whereupon they made the gruesome discovery. "We are looking for basically anything related to the case to move it forward. Logically, the murder weapon is the main thing," police told iDnes. Police from Ústí nad Labem and Pilsen have also been drafted in to help with the search.

Police and dogs have combed the 400-hectare forest since the weekend, setting up a mobile operations center on the edge of the forest and also a special mast with cameras to detect movement in the forest. Police are currently not excluding that the suspect may still be in the forest – either dead or alive.

Police will continue searching the area every day this week. "Among other things, a comprehensive and detailed evaluation of all secured paths is underway. This evaluation is time-consuming," the police said on X Monday.

The police have also reached out to pedestrians and motorists who were either walking through, or driving around, the forest on Friday between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. to get in contact via the phone number 731 553 135.

Any possible motives for the murder or potential suspects are either unknown or have not yet been disclosed by police.

The forest is currently closed to the public and the police urge people to stay away from the area in order to not disrupt the search.

According to local residents, the police also interrogated some neighbors who live in the immediate vicinity of the discovery of the two dead bodies. "The police were searching a local hostel where mainly foreigners live," added a resident of Klánovice.

Police spokesperson Jan Rybanský has said that the case is being supervised by the Prague City Prosecutor's Office, meaning that only very limited information can be disclosed at this moment in time.

Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda also commented on the disturbing events surrounding the brutal double murder on the X social network. He expressed his deepest condolences to the bereaved and said the police were keeping him informed of the development. He assured the public that all involved agencies were doing their absolute best to catch the perpetrator.

UPDATE: Dec. 20, 5 p.m.

After an extensive search on Wednesday in the Klánovice forest for evidence, Prague police have stated that no significant clues or leads have been discovered. Although the search in the forest has now concluded, routine patrols will persist in the area over the next few days.

Minister of the Interior Vít Rakušan affirmed that the perpetrator responsible for this crime remains unidentified, providing no details about their potential background. In the interest of public safety, increased surveillance will continue as part of the authorities' ongoing commitment to securing the region.

UPDATE: Dec. 21, 3 p.m.

A social media post of a police detective who took part in the search for the perpetrator in the forest has claimed the police are aware of the killer’s identity. He referred to the search in the forest days after the murder as a “media show,” also questioning: “Why does he [Rakušan] think the suspect will be hidden for three or four days somewhere in a tree or in a bush?”

The police have directly addressed the claims on X, calling them false. “Does anyone really think that the police know the identity of the perpetrator and won’t use an effective weapon such as media coverage to show them?" they responded. The police have restated that the identity of the suspect remains unknown.

UPDATE: Dec. 21, 8:30 p.m.

Following the mass shooting at Charles University's Faculty of Arts Thursday afternoon, the police have linked the 24-year-old killer to the Klánovice forest case. "We are working very seriously with the version, which is very real at the moment, that today’s attacker is also responsible for the two victims killed last Friday at Klánovice forest,” said Czech police chief Martin Vondrášek.

UPDATE: Dec. 22, 4:30 p.m.

Czech police at 4:20 p.m. on Dec. 22 have confirmed that the murder weapon used in Klánovice forest last week is identical to one found in the place of residence of the 24-year-old man behind Thursday's Prague mass shootings. While it is not 100-percent confirmed that the man is also behind the forest murders, this is now looking increasingly likely.

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