US & Canada

US man in court over Czech deaths of four relatives

Police handout of US murder suspect named as Kevin Dahlgren Image copyright AFP
Image caption Czech authorities issued an arrest warrant for Kevin Dahlgren

An American accused of murdering four of his relatives in the Czech Republic has appeared in court in the US.

Kevin Dahlgren, 20, was arrested at Dulles airport near Washington DC on Thursday night, having reportedly flown there from Vienna.

He is accused of stabbing to death his uncle, aunt and two cousins before apparently setting fire to his victims.

Czech authorities had been hunting him since the bodies were found at a house in the city of Brno on Wednesday.

An international warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Mr Dahlgren, shackled and guarded by two officers, made a brief appearance on Friday at a court in Alexandria, Virginia.

Ukelele band victims

The accused said he planned to hire a lawyer and expected his parents in California to pay the legal fees.

He was remanded in custody and a further hearing was scheduled for next Wednesday.

Prosecutor Patricia Haynes told the hearing that Czech authorities had not yet officially charged him with murder.

According to papers filed in the US District Court for Eastern Virginia, Mr Dahlgren is accused of killing his relatives at their home in Brno on Tuesday or Wednesday, stabbing them in the head and neck.

The documents also say it appears that he tried to burn three of the four bodies in the basement of the home.

Rescuers called to the scene to tackle the blaze realised immediately that "a violent crime had likely been committed there", a spokesman for the firefighters said.

Czech officials released a photo from the suspect's Facebook profile page which listed him as being from Palo Alto, California.

They warned he was "dangerous and possibly armed".

Czech police investigator Antonin Hrdlicka said of the attack: "Various weapons were used but that's all I can say."

A local ukulele band told the AP news agency that two of its members were among the victims.

Czech media report that the suspect had only recently moved to Brno, 200km (125 miles) south-east of the capital Prague, to work as an English teacher.

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