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Dead boy in Tiroler Ache: father in custody

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This is where little Leon drowned in the summer of 2022
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In the case of a six-year-old boy who was found dead in the Kitzbüheler Ache in St. Johann in Tirol at the end of August 2022, the urgently suspected 38-year-old father was taken into custody on Thursday. The public prosecutor’s office in Innsbruck said there was a risk of collusion and committing a crime.

Prosecutor’s spokesman Hansjörg Mayr said that the reason for detention was the risk of committing an act. A new detention hearing is scheduled for two weeks. The investigation would continue in the meantime, and everything would continue to be taken into account that could exonerate the man and present the suspicion differently, the prosecution emphasized.

Surprising turn

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What happened to little Leon? Until yesterday, the investigators were certain: the child died under tragic circumstances, drowned helplessly in the Kitzbüheler Ache. But now there are serious doubts about this version. The father is said to be responsible for the death of the then six-year-old boy. He was arrested on Monday.

Phone thrown in trash can

It was a case that had caused dismay and sympathy in the previous year: According to official reports, the 38-year-old Tyrolean had gone for a walk on the “Redford-Promenade” in St. Johann with his son in the stroller. However, at four o’clock in the morning. According to the Tyrol State Criminal Police Office, nothing unusual: “The mentally impaired boy regularly suffered from sleep disorders,” it said.

Parents offered 30,000 euros for information

Suddenly, a stranger is said to have attacked the family man from behind with a bottle, and the 38-year-old then collapsed unconscious. After the attack, the six-year-old climbed out of the stroller on his own and fell into the water. He was found dead on a sandbank about 600 meters downstream. The father was found by a passer-by with his cell phone and wallet in close proximity to the crime scene. At the time, the parents left no stone unturned to find the perpetrator: they even offered a bonus of 30,000 euros for crucial information.

About half a year later, there is now “the urgent suspicion that the man faked the robbery,” says Hansjörg Mayr, spokesman for the public prosecutor’s office.

The father was apparently targeted by the investigators mainly because he is said to have carried the bottle with which he was allegedly knocked down in the stroller. He also threw his phone in a trash can himself. The injuries could not be reconciled with the crime either. In previous interrogations, the 38-year-old denied the suspicion of murder and stuck to his previous account, the prosecution said.

His lawyer Hubert Stanglechner says that his client “decisively and as completely absurd” rejects the police’s claim that he threw his son into the flooded Kitzbüheler Ache. There is no evidence of this, his client was “shocked and deeply dismayed”. In the weeks before Leon’s death, the boy, who had syngap syndrome, started to improve. It was also possible to achieve a very good support situation, says the defender.

Source: Nachrichten

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