Prosecutor Andreas Nyberg, who is the lead investigator for the Malå murder, has repeatedly used the phrases "putting together an extensive puzzle" and "turning every stone" to describe the investigative work.
Marcus Danielsson, from Umeå, is the lead investigator at the police's serious crime department in Västerbotten, and he has been the police's investigative leader in the case.
How many police officers have been involved, and how has the large number of suspects affected the work?
– Murder investigations require extensive resources from various branches of the police service, and overall, nearly a hundred police officers have been involved in the investigation to some degree. Having a larger number of suspects can be challenging, but at the same time, it provides the investigation with opportunities to compare individual statements, which can be a factor for success.
Tell us about the different investigative phases in this unique murder case for Västerbotten: how has it changed?
– Initially, the case was briefly considered a surveillance matter, but through early operational measures on site, extensive investigative work, and proactive decisions by the lead investigator, the case took on a different character. Here, it's worth emphasizing the excellent work of the local police's surveillance resources who had personnel on site the morning after and could make observations that turned out to be significant for the investigation, answers Marcus Danielsson.
Why is this murder investigation unique?
–The most apparent aspect is that we find suspected perpetrators in a fairly broad family constellation; this is something that stands out. I have never encountered a case like this. From one aspect, it can help as it's a fairly limited group to investigate. The challenge for the police becomes to draw conclusions around a family that has the same vehicles, residences, and spaces. This affects our evidence assessment and what investigative measures we need to take to strengthen the technical evidence.
He points out that the geographical location of a crime can impact the character of the case:
– The size of the location, in this case, did not result in a greater number of tips but rather the opposite, but through interrogations, a possible motive could be mapped out.
Can one talk about a breakthrough in the investigation, such as analysis results that came in from the NFC (Swedish National Forensic Centre)?
– During the investigation, it's not possible to point to any specific breakthroughs. The assessment is that what has led to the result is a methodical police work where the use of deprivation of liberty and seizures of IT material have been a success factor. The methodical and meticulous work has then led to analysis results that support the case's working hypotheses. I want to highlight the enormous work that all involved police staff have contributed.
At the end of last week, charges were brought against the four people who are suspected of involvement in the murder in Malå on the night between February 12 and 13.
A 50-year-old man, a 40-year-old woman, a 20-year-old man and a teenage boy under the age of 18 are suspected of involvement in the crime. For two of these – the 50-year-old and the 40-year-old – there are alternative criminal classifications.
A revenge motive for the murder has emerged during the preliminary investigation.