Murder Quiz Father Must Stay In Jail, Court Rules

A dad accused of letting his severely handicapped six-year-old son drown and then faking a mugging it to be held in custody before his trial.

Judges from the High Innsbruck District Court dismissed an appeal to free Florian Apler, 38, and ruled to keep him in custody for two more months.

The 38-year-old fitness coach was detained last month (February) as the prime suspect after his son six-year-old son Leon was found dead in August last year.

Prosecutors believe he faked a mugging and let Leon drown in the Kitzbueheler Ache river, Sankt Johan, Tyrol, Austria.

Florian Apler, aged 38, and Leon, aged 6, pose in undated photo. The father has been arrested after six-year-old Leon was found dead in Sankt Johann, Austria, on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022. (@leonandfriendsorg/Newsflash)

The court said in a statement obtained by Newsflash on Monday, 27th March: “The Innsbruck Higher District Court did not uphold the accused’s complaint against the imposition of pre-trial detention.

“The pre-trial detention imposed on Florian [Apler] was continued for a further two months due to the risk of collusion and the risk of committing a crime.

“The Innsbruck Higher District Court assumes that there is an urgent suspicion of murder under Section 75 of the Criminal Code and of pretending to be a punishable act under Section 298 (1) of the Criminal Code.

“The Innsbruck Higher District Court affirmed that the reasons for detention, the risk of collusion and the risk of committing a crime, continue to exist.”

Investigators suspected that Apler made up the mugging because he wanted to ‘redeem’ his son from suffering.

The boy reportedly suffered from a rare genetic condition named SYNGAP1, which causes learning disabilities.

Florian Apler and Leon posing, undated photo. The parents are offering a EUR 30,000 (GBP 26,000) reward after six-year-old Leon was found dead in Sankt Johann, Austria, on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022. (@leonandfriendsorg/Newsflash)

The condition reportedly causes seizures and problems with language , emotional behaviour and sleep.

When questioned, Apler told the police that he was knocked down by a robber while pushing his son Leon in a buggy on the riverbank at around 4am.

He then claimed that his son had disappeared when he came to and immediately called the police, who carried out a search for the boy.

Leon’s body was discovered in the river at around 6.30am.

Following the court’s decision Apler’s lawyer Hubert Stanglechner said: “My client continues to vehemently reject the accusation made against him.

“He didn’t kill his son.

“The court accepted the reasons for the risk of collusion and the risk of committing an offence.

“There is a risk that my client could make it more difficult to establish the truth and commit similar acts in the future.”

Picture shows victim Leon, 6, undated. He suffered from the genetic condition SYNGAP1, he was found dead near the crime scene, in Sankt Johann, Austria, on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022. (@leonandfriendsorg/Newsflash)

Stanglechner then called the court’s decision “absurd” and said: “This decision contradicts the current case law of the Constitutional Court, according to which there must be concrete evidence for the assumption of reasons for detention.”

He added that Apler’s wife and family are refusing to accept he is guilty and said: “He has the support of his wife and his entire family, but he is cut off from this personal support.”

According to the lawyer, the court’s decision indicates that the 38-year-old father will have to remain in custody until a probable murder trial.

The investigation continues.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Georgina JadikovskaSub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency:  Newsflash

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