The Malta Independent 23 September 2019, Monday

Prosecutors believe long strand of blond hair could tie accused to murdered woman

Tuesday, 11 June 2019, 17:35 Last update: about 4 months ago

Prosecutors are hoping that a long strand of blonde hair could tie a murder victim to her alleged murderer’s home.

This emerged as the compilation of evidence against Jelle Rijpma, a 23 year-old gaming employee who is accused of stabbing his estranged former girlfriend Shannon Mak to death outside his home last year, continued.

Mak died from horrific throat wounds after being stabbed not far from her residence in August 2017. The accused had recently moved into a nearby apartment, the court had heard in previous sittings.

Rijpma was once again completely devoid of emotion during the entire sitting, ignoring the presence of several family members of the victim, including her mother.

Two Scene of Crime officers presented the court with a report they compiled after analysing the crime scene and Rijpma’s rented converted garage on Triq l-Istampaturi in Santa Venera. They told magistrate Simone Grech how they had found a single strand of long blonde hair on a shower handle, together with traces of blood and 17 cigarette butts.

The items were all handed over for forensic testing after being photographed. The items could potentially place the victim at Rijpma’s home.

Later on in the sitting, one of the four police officers who had arrested Rijpma recalled finding the suspect sitting in his flatlet, calmly watching television. The man appeared relaxed he said. 

Lawyer Stefano Filletti, appearing on behalf of the victim’s relatives, asked whether the suspect asked any questions.

“No. He behaved normally as though he had been expecting us,” the officer replied, adding that the suspect had not even asked the police why he was being arrested.

The compilation of evidence continues next month.

Inspector Robert Vella is prosecuting. Lawyer Leontine Calleja is appearing for Rijpma.


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