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German child-killer may have struck before - police

suspect pic Image copyright Bochum Police
Image caption Police have released this photograph of the suspect

Police hunting a teenager suspected of stabbing a nine-year-old neighbour to death fear he may have killed a woman too.

The manhunt began after a witness said the teenager, named as Marcel Hesse, had revealed his attack on the child on the messaging service Whatsapp.

Pictures of the scene were also posted on the internet.

Police in the western city of Bochum said the suspect had also boasted in a chat-room about murdering a woman.

Although they could not confirm the second murder, investigators said the teenager had claimed the woman "put up more of a fight than the child" and weighed some 120kg (19 stone). The motive for his attack appeared to have been the woman's bank, computer and phone details.

Stay indoors, children told

As the search for Marcel Hesse spread across the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia on Wednesday, a school was placed under lockdown for several hours some 30km (18 miles) away.

Police in the town of Wetter said nothing suspicious was found.

Children were told to play indoors at kindergartens in Herne, south of Bochum, where the boy died.

Police have warned the public that the teenager may be armed. Reports said he was an unemployed martial arts enthusiast.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Police investigating the boy's murder were shocked by the scenes they found at the house in Herne

The boy died of multiple stab wounds on Monday evening.

In the message posted on Whatsapp, the suspect had suggested he had wanted to kill himself but failed and murdered the boy instead.

The boy's family told German media that the teenager had asked him to help with a ladder. The boy's stepfather went to search for the boy, and found his body in Marcel Hesse's cellar.

Well-wishers lit candles and left flowers and cuddly toys outside his house. The boy's grandfather told reporters what had happened was "simply terrible" and that it was appalling that the killer was still on the run.

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