US student stabbed to death in Dutch city

Sarah PapenheimImage copyright
Sarah Papenheim Facebook page

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Tributes have been posted to Ms Papenheim’s Facebook page

A young woman from the US who moved to the Netherlands to study after a family tragedy has been stabbed to death in her student complex in Rotterdam.

Sarah Papenheim, 21, was found dying in her lodgings in the city’s Kralingen district on Wednesday, and armed police later seized a suspect in another city.

She was studying psychology at Erasmus University, having been affected by her brother’s suicide some years ago.

Ms Papenheim was also a gifted drummer, well known on Minnesota’s music scene.

Jellybean Johnson, a drummer and guitarist who once played with Prince, told CBS Minnesota he had been so impressed with her playing that he had nicknamed her “Thumper” and become a mentor to her.

He said he was “still numb” over the death of “a great spirit” as other people paid tribute on Facebook.

Ms Papenheim, who lost her brother Josh three years ago when he was 21, had been living in the Netherlands for two years when the attack happened.

Police arrested a male suspect believed to have been living in the same student complex, at a railway station in Eindhoven, a city 110km (68 miles) south-east of Rotterdam. His dramatic capture by armed officers was caught on video by a bystander.

The victim’s mother, Donee Odegard, said that she had called her last weekend to say that her roommate had been acting strangely.

“I told her she needed to get out of there, that he seemed dangerous,” Mrs Odegard told ABC on Friday.

“But she told me, ‘No mom. I’m his only friend and he won’t hurt me.'”

She added that she had planned to stay with her boyfriend, who lived down the hall from her, and that she planned to get clothes from her room while her roommate was away in class.

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Musicians in Minneapolis have been paying tribute to the talented drummer

The family believes the attack occurred when she returned for her clothing.

Mrs Odegard told the Star Tribune that her roommate was also a musician, and that he had been “getting more and more angry” in recent weeks.

“They’d talk music all night,” she said. “They kinda clicked on that. Then as time went on, he’d get highs and lows.”

Fikret Egeman, who owns a kebab restaurant where Ms Papenheim worked part-time, told the Associated Press that “she was like family.”

“She always worked with a smile, all day long, no problem. Angel.”

Musicians in Minnesota are planning to play a benefit concert to raise funds to help Ms Papenheim’s mother fly home her daughter’s body, NL Times reports, and a GoFundMe page is being shared by her friends.

“Sarah was a beautiful, vibrant young woman and a talented musician with a smile that could light up a room,” the page says. “She played with some of the best musicians on the scene in the Twin Cities [Minneapolis-St Paul] and had many close relationships with them. Her presence is irreplaceable… We love you, drummer girl.”

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