SOUTH-WESTERN FINLAND Police Department has been investigating the homicide of a young woman for a couple of years unbeknownst to the public.
Helsingin Sanomat on Thursday reported that the woman died in suspicious circumstances in Salo Hospital, part of Turku University Hospital (TYKS), in South-west Finland on 30 April 2017. A pre-trial investigation into the death was opened more than six months later, after a forensic autopsy found traces of propofol in the victim.
The death is being investigated as murder due to the defenceless state of the victim at the time of the incident.
The investigators have interrogated a number of people this summer on suspicion of the murder, including people who at the time of the incident were employed at Salo Hospital.
“I’m not in a position to reveal the exact number of suspects,” Juha Kainonen, the detective superintendent in charge of the investigation at South-western Police Department, told Helsingin Sanomat. “They’re people who were in the hospital at the time of the incident. I also can’t comment on whether they’re suspected of committing the act together or whether someone committed it alone.”
The suspects have denied the criminal accusations. None of them has yet to be taken into custody, arrested or detained in connection with the inquiry, according to the newspaper.
Even though the homicide is believed to have taken place over three years ago, the case was kept under wraps until yesterday in order not to compromise the pre-trial investigation, according to Kainonen.
“We were at a bit of a disadvantage when we launched the investigation, because foul play suspicions didn’t emerge until some time after the suspected act. We had to secure the investigation to be able to carry out certain inquiries,” he said.
The pre-trial investigation, he added, produced information based on which suspects and witnesses were questioned in June 2020.
“The suspects have been collaborative in the interrogations, but they have the right to remain silent. We’ve been left with an inkling that we haven’t been let in on the entire course of events. We’ve interrogated some of them more than once,” told Kainonen.
He revealed that some of the statements made in the interrogations contradict other pieces of evidence produced in the investigation.
Kainonen also confirmed that the hospital administration has been aware of the investigation and that no other suspicions have emerged while looking into deaths in the hospital and the suspects’ employment histories.
“The suspected offence seems to have been an isolated act,” he said, adding that its motive remains unclear.
“We’re not yet over the finish line with the investigation. The investigation is still ongoing, but I can’t comment on how long it’ll take.”
Petri Virolainen, the hospital director of TYKS, on Thursday stated that he cannot shed further light on the investigation and reminded that it is difficult to say for sure whether any of the suspects remain employed at TYKS.
“Police are handling this issue. We’ve been aware of it and carried out our own assessments,” he said to Helsingin Sanomat. “We at TYKS don’t necessarily know all the suspects. But we aren't aware of a single suspect whose employment is ongoing.”
Aleksi Teivainen – HT