By Kate Raddatz


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police in the Netherlands say a man suspected of killing a college student from Minnesota will remain behind bars.

Sarah Papenheim, 21, was found stabbed to death in her apartment in Rotterdam on Wednesday. A Dutch newspaper photograph shows police arresting her 23-year-old roommate nearly 60 miles away from the scene of the crime.

Prosecutors have not made his name public, but said he met before a judge, who ordered he be detained for two weeks while the investigation continues. The motive behind the stabbing is still unclear.

WCCO’s Kate Raddatz spoke with the victim’s mother Friday as she was getting ready to leave for the Netherlands. She said her daughter’s life was cut much too short and her only purpose now is to get there to bring her home.

“She’s lost two kids,” musician Jellybean Johnson said. “I feel for her. I’m going to show her my love when I see her.”

Johnson, once Prince’s drummer, said he saw her perform five years ago and became a mentor and a friend. At 21, Papenheim had already performed with the Twin Cities’ most well-respected musicians.

“I liked her because she hit the drums just as hard as guys do,” Johnson said.

As police continue to investigate the murder of Papenheim, her classmates abroad are still reeling in shock. She was studying psychology at Erasmus University in Rotterdam with a focus on suicide. Her brother killed himself three years ago. The family is now grieving the loss of two children.

Friends and strangers have left candles and flowers at the site of her murder.

“You get that ‘parents’ worst nightmare’ (feeling) and my heart aches for Sarah’s family, especially in the wake of the second death in their family,” Sheryl Hill, founder of Depart Smart, said.

Depart Smart is a Minnesota organization aimed at helping students travel safely. Hill’s own 16-year-old son died while studying abroad in Japan.

Hill encourages families to make sure they have travel insurance and register with the state.

“In Tyler’s case it was $38,000 to bring his remains home and then there’s the cost of the funeral,” she said. “If you had travel insurance for medical evacuation or death in this situation insurance would cover that cost.”

A GoFundMe page for the Papenheim family says it will cost them $40,000 just to get Sarah’s body back home.

Kate Raddatz

Comments (3)
  1. “Police say stabbed her in the netherlands last night.” ???? Murder’s NAME.?………

  2. Bullet Hole Johnson say “Yall dont ferget ma own GoFundMe . Mmm mmm I likes breakin in dem liberal white girls, but it cost me a lot a meth an coke ta break dem girls in right.”

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