A couple who begged for help in finding the husband’s missing parents have been jailed for bashing the victims’ skulls with a hammer before bricking them up behind a wall.
The couple, identified as 26-year-old Ingo P. and his 23-year-old wife Stephanie, were found guilty of murder and sentenced to life by the Nuremberg-Fuerth district court in Bavaria, Germany.
The case was closely followed throughout Germany as the couple had previously appealed in the media for people to help find their missing parents, even asking them to donate money for the search.
At the time, Ingo P. claimed that his parents, 70-year-old Peter P. and 66-year-old Elfriede, had suddenly disappeared from their home on the outskirts of Nuremberg in December 2017.
He said: “They packed a suitcase and two travel bags and went away.”
According to local media, Ingo P. failed to report his parents’ disappearance until 28th December, even though they had been missing since the middle of the month, which made the police suspicious.
He even said that he was not surprised that worried friends and neighbours could not reach his parents by phone over Christmas, saying: “At 70 years of age, you often forget to charge the phone.”
One day later, Ingo P. married Stephanie as the ceremony went ahead despite his parents’ absence.
Cops finally found the two bodies in January 2018, bricked up behind a garage wall.
According to the court, Ingo and Stephanie tried to poison his mother twice. The first time they used poisonous plant seeds which they put into a cake.
During the second attempt, they gave Elfriede a drink spiked with a chemical substance, although the mother did not drink it in its entirety as it had a strange taste, and she therefore unknowingly survived this attempt on her life.
On the night of 13th December, the defendants managed to kill off the elderly couple.
Using a hammer, Ingo smashed in his mother’s skull while she was sleeping in her bed, the court heard.
According to the indictment, Ingo’s father suffered the same fate when he arrived home.
They then hid the bodies behind a brick garage wall after covering them in salt to prevent bodily fluids from escaping.
Even though Ingo and Stephanie refused to testify in court, prosecutors assumed that the parents’ money played a major role in their murders.