Mystery death stumps Solothurn police

Solothurn cantonal police are continuing to investigate the mysterious death of an 83-year-old woman reportedly strangled in her home with a piece of string.

The woman’s lifeless body was found in her second-floor apartment in Olten last Thursday but investigators believe the woman had been dead for at least five weeks, according to a report from Blick.

Police are officially not saying much on the record.

“The circumstances that led to the death are still unclear and will be investigated,” cantonal police said in a brief statement on Wednesday.

Police have contacted the local institute for forensic medicine for help and have also issued an appeal to the public for anyone with information that may help solve the case.   

Blick said, according to its information, the woman, identified as Stefanie Maritz, was strangled on the bedroom floor, with a string tied around her neck.

The pensioner’s apartment was ransacked in what looks like a case of murder, the newspaper reported.

“I find it sad that no one missed for so long,” 84-year-old neighbour Doris Hofer told Blick.

“Especially at this age you should have someone who looks in on you,” said Hofer, who now lives in fear of intruders.

Blick quoted another neighbour who believed that the victim, a former UBS employee, was wealthy and that she was a robbery victim.

Hofer said she plans to get advice on “how to conduct myself at home” from police.

“Hopefully they will catch the killer soon, so we need not worry any more.”

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Hockey player cleared over paralyzing hit

The Swiss National League has cleared of wrongdoing an ice hockey player who rammed an opponent into the boards, leaving him a paraplegic from his injuries, in a B division game earlier this month.

Hockey player cleared over paralyzing hit
Screenshot of YouTube video showing Keller being rammed into the boards.

EHC Olten defenceman Ronny Keller, 33, suffered a serious spinal column injury that paralyzed the lower half of his body after being checked by SC Langenthal right-winger Stefan Schnyder during a March 5th game.

The body check that sent Keller flying into the boards was ruled accidental by Reto Steinmann, a judge for the National League, which has halted a criminal procedure for aggravated assault against Schnyder, 29.  

“Misconduct by Stefan Schnyder has not been established, even if the consequences were tragic and hard to imagine for Keller,” the National League said in a statement issued on Monday.

Referees were right to hand Schnyder a match penalty for an “ordinary” check against the boards in addition to a fine, the judge said.

But expertise sought to look at the mechanics of the incident concluded that Keller initiated contact, not Schnyder, while dangerously close to the boards.

Steinmann conceded that Schnyder had struck out with his right hand during the collision but that the player “could not have known in this situation that his opponent was already wiped out”.

Schnyder cannot be reproached from profiting from a dangerous situation that he did not create, the judge ruled.

He also noted that Schnyder had not checked Keller with his body or elbow and had not used any unauthorized techniques to hit his opponent.

Nonetheless, a YouTube video of the incident caused much concern about hockey violence, particularly after the extent of injuries to Keller became known.