Rotterdam stabbing victim identified as American student, 21
A young woman stabbed to death in a student complex in Rotterdam on Wednesday was identified as Sarah Papenheim, a 21-year-old American drummer and student studying psychology at Erasmus University, according to multiple Dutch news sources. The police confirmed to RTL Nieuws that the victim had American nationality.
The police responded to the student complex on Kerklaan in Kralingen at around 12:20 p.m. on Wednesday and found the young woman critically injured in her home. Attempts to resuscitate her were to no avail. She died at the scene.
A 23-year-old man from Rotterdam was arrested at Eindhoven station a short time later. Sarah and the suspect lived in the same block and knew each other, the police said. A bystander filmed the arrest. "When the train arrived from Amsterdam, ten cops and a few undercover officers walked onto the platform. When they saw him they held him at gun point and told him to get down on his knees", the bystander said to RTL Nieuws. The police are investigating exactly what happened.
Dit is beeld van de arrestatie van een 23-jarige Rotterdammer. Hij is in Eindhoven op het perron aangehouden op verdenking van het doodsteken van een vrouw in Rotterdam. pic.twitter.com/MC4TJdyoDe— RTL Nieuws (@RTLnieuws) December 12, 2018
Eindhovens Dagblad reports that Sarah came to study in Rotterdam in 2016. She wanted to start a new life after her brother had taken his own life. Friends are shocked by Sarah's death. She was well loved. Her Facebook page is filled with sad reactions.
"Sarah, I haven't stopped thinking about you since I heard this news. You were kind, real and your smile could make anyone forget their problems", Kristin wrote on Facebook. "You touched many people's hearts during your short time here and you were destined to do so much more."
"You really were one of the greatest human beings I have ever encountered. Even while you were battling depression at one point in your life, you never failed to have that beautiful smile on your face that would instantly light up the room. You were an incredible musician and friend", Morgan wrote.
"Sarah, you were such a brave and strong person. Your entire journey was so admirable", Hannah wrote. "When I close my eyes and remember you , I can't picture you in my mind without your huge, beautiful smile. People adored you no matter where you went. I am so sorry that this was your end, but it is not your legacy. The light and kindness you brought into people's lives is what continues to live on. We are so grateful to have known you."
"Sarah... I'm speechless. I was just chatting with you about hoping you and your boyfriend could come to Berlin and see the show and hang out", David wrote. "I am heartbroken that you were taken from us... May you rest in peace, may your family be surrounded with love, and may justice be served."
Musicians in Sarah's home state of Minnesota are arranging a benefit concert to raise money to help Sarah's mother pay the $10,000 to $15,000 needed to bring the young woman's body back to the United States, AD reports. Friends of the student also launched a Gofundme page to help pay for her funeral.