German Police Arrest Woman for Allegedly Murdering Doppelgänger to Fake Death

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Sharaban K., allegedly scoured Instagram for a lookalike before settling on Khadidja O., whom she lured to meet her by promising her a cosmetics kit.

German police have arrested a 23-year-old German-Iraqi woman on suspicion of murdering a doppelganger she sought out on Instagram as part of an elaborate plan to fake her own death.

The Munich-based beautician suspect, identified in German news outlets as Sharaban K, is being detained at a prison in Ingolstadt, southern Germany, in connection with the death of 23-year-old Algerian beauty blogger, Khadidja O., Ingolstadt police spokesperson Andreas Aichele said Tuesday.

Sharaban K.’s boyfriend Shequir K., a 23-year-old Kosovan man, is also in custody in connection with the murder. The victim and suspects have been referred to by their first names and an initial as is customary in the German legal system.

Sharaban K.’s parents reported her missing on August 16 last year. Her Mercedes car was later found in Ingolstadt with the body of a woman on the backseat. She had been stabbed multiple times and her face was disfigured.

“The crime weapon has not been found, but the evidence is overwhelming,” Aichele said. “The victim was killed with over 50 thrusts of the knife, the face completely disfigured.”

Police and her parents initially identified the body as that of Sharaban K. However an autopsy and DNA analysis revealed that it was not her, but a different woman who looked “strikingly similar” to her, with long black straight hair, a similar complexion, and heavy makeup. The victim was later identified as Khadidja O.

Sharaban K. was arrested on August 18 after police tracked her to Shequir K’s apartment, according to police.

“Investigators now assume that the suspect wanted to go into hiding due to family problems and faked her death own death to that effect,” Aichele said.

“The suspects came up with the plan to search online for a woman who looked similar to the German-Iraqi, kill her, and place her in such a way that the corpse would be mistaken for the suspect.”

Sharaban K., who was a beauty blogger and Instagram influencer, searched online for women who looked like her and tried to “persuade them with false promises to meet her,” Aichele said, adding that the Ingolstadt district court issued murder arrest warrants for both suspects on January 26 and 27.

As part of their investigation, police have interviewed several women bearing Sharaban K.’s resemblance whom the suspect contacted on social media sites under numerous aliases.