Police investigating Friday`s horrific killing of 19-year-old Yvonne Johansson at the prestigious Royal Park condominium, Saturday evening arrested the boyfriend of the victim`s younger sister, a student of Colombo International School. The suspect had vehemently denied his involvement in the killing.
The suspect and the two sisters had been at the Taj Samudra`s night club with a group of CIS students before visiting other night spots shortly before the killing.
A senior CID spokesperson said that the 21-year-old suspect was taken in for questioning at the Johanssons` luxury 23rd floor apartment. The suspect had been with the family and friends, grieving the death of Yvonne, a fashion designer student studying overseas.
The suspect is believed to have had an affair with the victim earlier. He lives down Bagatale Road, Colombo 3.
Quoting the Judicial Medical Officer`s report, the official ruled out rape. `There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest the victim was raped or intimacyually assaulted,` he said.
The girl had severe head injuries, he said, adding that the attacker had also strangled her.
A few hours before police arrested the suspect, police chief Chandra Fernando expressed confidence in cracking the case.
The victim was the daughter of Swedish national Roger Johansson and Sri Lankan Chamalika Johansson. Yvonne was found in a pool of blood on the staircase of the 19th floor.
Fernando said that he assigned a special CID team to investigate the killing. `We have certain clues,` he said adding that they would investigate several aspects including possible security lapses. He declined to elaborate.
The investigators are likely to depend on scientific evidence including finger prints to prove their case. `Even if the suspect confesses we would have to prove our case,` the CID spokesperson said while emphasising that a confession wouldn`t be admissible in a court of law.
According to statements obtained from several persons including the victim`s sister, she along with her boyfriend had returned to her Royal Park apartment around 2 a.m. on Friday.
Investigators believe that Yvonne had walked in as the suspect was leaving the apartment after dropping Yvonne`s sister. The police acknowledged that no one had seen or heard the suspect and Yvonne on the 23rd floor. Her body was found around 9 am on Friday.
`We are trying to establish the suspect`s movements between 2 a.m. and the time the body was found,` an investigator said. He had claimed that he left in a three wheeler after dropping Yvonne`s sister at her apartment. Police are in the process of checking the suspect`s statement. `We want to establish whether he hired a three wheeler,` the spokesman said.
Royal Park condominium boasts of 24-hour security with a high-tech security apparatus. The apartment occupied by the Johanssons is owned by Prima Ceylon.
The police chief said there was evidence to suggest that the victim struggled and made a desperate bid to run away from the killer. She was killed by falling face down and hitting her head while running down the stairway or by the killer smashing her head against the wall.